Amaranthus Caudatus

After trimming a broad spotted flag
After some debate and delay
After checking technique and cross-checking
After taking scissors to the failing leaf
Of my plastic-potted fig
Watching the milk of the branch pearl up
And drip
After watching the plant pull its pus back in
And continue living
I walked in Central Park

There were blue paths and dogs
Bikes and city smell and
Grass. I touched the elm labeled elm
And the oak labeled oak. I imagined
sticking a pin into one of my frail branches
and how the fig would slump and realized
I never knew an elm was an elm.
Suddenly each plant was a plant.
They all had leaves to dust and
low branches maybe failing and
morning light and waterings.

Yesterday while watering the little palm
I spotted a broken stalk
Wove it up with the hundred other stalks
And checked on it this morning.

And here, everything trampled.
What a feat to lift up a garden.
What alchemy to grow a park
And what divinity that the world started green
that it knew already how to live
and already what to let die.

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It was rain today
a sick sort
meant for places with soil hungry for it
heavy
flipping drops in loving tandem
ramming headfirst into sidewalk
dead drops dribbling
limp
to the grate backbroken
in the subway

I stood on a street corner
23rd and 7th
I did not have the light
and I was in nothing but rain
and rain

I saw through the rain a boy
his hands
turned upward to the sky
in the first
rainfeel catchdrop
walking
offering palms

not backs
(des collines wrist to tip
la campagne vollonée) but
turned upward
the hand shows its muscled shape
like how
fingers close themselves
if not colline then jointed city
Michelangelo did not paint the upturned palm of God
the boy
his hands were like city hands

I don’t know
if he was feeling for rain
if he
could not believe his hands
or if
like strings
for piano hammers
he held himself
for the felted pounding
of raindrop
and raindrop
if
he could feel his own vibration
if
he loved the rain
the rain that hisses like this rain
heard it shrieking
offered to it a place of landing
or warning

pointing skyward
between the holding
and the letting