Yes, I would love to come over | Summer Garden


poems by Jeffrey Bean


Yes, I would love to come over,


thank you, the engines of my legs run
on granola bars and orange juice,
they put out so much heat
they’ll melt all the snowdrifts
from my door to yours. Yes,
the chicken paprika, the extra dirty martini,
the crab puffs and honey-smoked pigs
in blankets. No problem,
I’ll go shirtless, even in this dangerous
wind-chill, I’ll sing that naughty
British song. Yes, the tiramisu
and Sambuca, the sweet potatoes and cilantro,
the Chinese clay pot chicken and sticky rice.
Please explain again
how atoms are little galaxies and
our galaxy is an atom
on the ass of some horse so enormous
it’s impossible to see. Then pass the sweet pork
slow-cooker chili, let’s dip our faces
in the steam, pass the basket of little butters,
I promise to squeeze the soft parts
of your hands like dinner rolls.
Yes, we can talk
into the ears of women
until their dresses get so red
I will want to pray that our language means something,
that when I talk to my wife, later, looped
in her hair, our words will slide down together
into the hot tubs of our minds,
like tired skiers at the end of a run,
their skin full of sun-smell, their vegetable juices
melting together at the heart of the water
while they point to the stars and say
the delicious names of the littlest constellations.



Summer Garden


It failed: I kept spading the dirt into
the shape of her hair. Nothing grew. That winter
each day I did a spell: I wrote down what she said,
folded the notes into my pocket, went skiing
in the forest so her breath when she came home
smelled like a katabatic wind
blasting pines. We kissed one night
on the couch, the TV preacher
broke down, finally, said something
so powerful and strange
we wouldn’t have needed to fall in love,
but we didn’t hear it, not fully, and she went on
buying me beautiful shirts, my closet like
a hothouse, flowers so red I can’t sleep.



Jeffrey Bean