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Their New Year

When is it safe to bloom?
You look around, the pink of day
on the horizon in the east, friends
locked in the same jail confer,
our hopelessness not as uniform
as our clothes, day to day going
to school, acting like John Stuart Mill—
all dog days, bark and shrill,
the dream of easy riches, oh what
a thrill.

And meanwhile the jacarandas bloom
in June or May, any time the sun
with rain confers its revolution, yellow
flowers springing up where they had sprung
the year before—

Survivors to their own new year’s party.

Sopping wet and stoned I sleep from mine
to get up late, drop in when it’s safe,
the song buzzing in my ear, not
knowing if it was cool enough for me
to actually be here.

We must know it’s safe!! We look to
left and look to right, the blessed planted
in those perfect zones, their dreams nurtured,
it’s okay to say “I love you,” no snickers
and sarcazo, as the Greek say—tearing flesh
a sport, a game.

To really care, to love another. The grand
purpose, above God and man and words
and John Stuart Mill:

He and many achieve despite cold
pursuit of achievement. Charles Dickens’
Mr. Dick shaking hands, hand after hand,
warmth and caring trumping towers of
fact and overbearing.

The zig-zag between Mom and theory,
what we are and what we leave behind,
legacy from luck we must rid ourselves of
must, and do the one thing we love.

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