The Garden

As if flowers were perpetually
waiting to emerge from snow
or to be summoned by birdcalls.

A folly consisting of a ruined arch
partly drowned in a small lake
stocked with sunfish and black pike.

Tectonic stretching is measured
in subunits per fortnight. Although
rocky, the ground is not stable.

The sight of the mountain is said
to be a profound spiritual experience,
but its frequent geographical shifts

are not reassuring. Space and time
shut down for weekend maintenance.
Only the death squads remain on duty.

A peddler at the tradesmen’s entrance
offers his recommended selection
of miracles—small packets of seeds,

corms, cuttings, tubers, insect eggs,
pale powders that could supervene.
He is only trying to be helpful. Still.

The gardener rakes paths, scattering
black stones on white sand in patterns
that duplicate a much earlier universe.

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