A Garden

Hannah Hirsh

The flowers are without reason,
without economy or moderation.
Pink and gold, they tower above
the double doors, a citadel of silk
impervious to logic. They glow against
the dark of December despite rain,
despite deprivation and mortality, as if
an entrance to some other winter,
some world in which the stream of time
runs slant, or in reverse, though
what they form is only a portico, preface
to the fertility clinic on Fifth Avenue,
where I admit I have wondered
what one might learn about time,
flesh, fate. Next door, mannequins pose
in lace chemises, faces anonymous,
feet helplessly arched—an uncomplicated
argument on this Sunday morning, grey
as mist itself and sodden with desire, desire
made visible and therefore endless,
unpreventable. Against the wind
I’ve closed my coat, though my face
keeps showing itself to the world, a face
it seems that anyone could read.