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Catherine Bloomer


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Will you take me down to the garden so
I can show you what was once mine?

After the winter, there’s been a lot of winter,
I can show you the spring where they bottle water.

Once in Minnesota, I stood over the font
of the Mississippi in a row of girls,
all of us laughing, before I ventured the winding
road to California in the cab of a long-haul,
in the bed of the first man who led me
off the straight path, the wolf and the jaguar, and me,
with no one to guide, I look at the
imprint of that life, the early mornings, or
late nights in motels, eating with a line of
men all of us laughing, none of them asking
why are you out here, little girl, driving in the dark
on the freeway, my neighbors growing up got a lost dog
on the side of the road, called him Freeway, black
and white fur, we’d run on the beach before winter
came, and he was the first animal I did not fear,
but Jude was the first man I knew was wrong in his
bones, and he’d sing a crooked song while I washed out
underwear in the sink of a wayside bathroom, while I
thought of the month before, by the lake under tall green
before he’d ever come around, I’d found a place where
I spoke the language, only to leave at the slightest scent
of a life to be lived and where was I to go from here, let
me show you the garden that was once mine.


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a lazy Sunday morning is all I
wanted, a chance to know your
face from the masses in the
dark, and I have known you a
long time, but it’s never long
enough, give me more.

I want it all, I want the pansies from
your yard, I want your
mother’s roses, I want the
blossoms of your youth, and I
want your skull when you die.

I’ll turn it to ash, I’ll grind
your bones with my coffee.

I want to be part of you, I want
to seep into your dreams
like words from a new language.

I want to be the one you dream of.

I think you’ll dream of me,
dreaming of you, I want that,
too, I want you to take my
roses every morning wet with
dew and smelling like promises kept.


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A new moon touches the shore.

I see your shadow on the dark
side, and I know it's been a long
time, it's been years, it's been
years, and I know it's not so
long when the tide comes in
and when it goes out, but every
thing in between is bare, and you
have seen the nude sand under
the cover of night when the clams
are ready to die, and I know it'll be
a long time until we sleep, but it's
not so long now, and my eyes are
tired as yours are, yes, your eyes.

I see them, grey, green, blue, tired.

Tired of me, tired of being you
looking at me, again, so close
them up shut, let the tide come in,
it erases everything between us, and
you'll reach shore, and I'll drown
in the stars with Ursa guarding
the dotted outline of my body
like the chalk drawn around the void
of time lost, and time spent, and time gone
before, how can we reach the bottom if we
cannot stand, cannot swim, cannot drown.

I cannot dive until you let go of my hand.

Did you let me steer at all, or did you chart a
course through the night with the mast light
burnt out so in the dark we could lose ourselves,
lose sight, lose the spark of continuity?

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