Impossible Longings

Yes, I will paint my tower in lapis lazuli
(That immortal color)
And command my cavalcade
To toss my cheep-cheep machine
Down the escalator.
I’ll make peace between the humming bird and hawk,
And greet the poet of Paumanok
Who worked so hard in a time of war —
Ah who shall soothe these feverish children?
I’ll find the child who roots in garbage
For bruised apples, a bit of soiled meat,
And learn her language.
I will study the signature of clouds.
I will muse on the happiness of trees.

An earlier version of this poem under a different title was published at the PEN America site on January 18, 2017: The First Speech: Poets & Writers Offer Words for Trump Inauguration.