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  • There's a way we say goodbye to spring on the cliff overlooking summer,

    We say it low

    We say it low in the garden,

    We say it at the level of messy partitioned choppy parsley,

    We say it with massive elf ivy,

    We say it with backs, green necks, green sweat on our bodies,

    We say it into the mirror with sweaty green things still standing.

    We say it with mock orange flowers, drifting, shredded, leaving green empty stars on branches, we say it with lipstick foxes.

    The lipstick poison mouths have crawled upwards, and have turned a blush pink, they are approaching the Countess.

    The Comtesse de Bouchard in her clematis flowering glory.

    To catch the Countess the lipstick foxes have blushed her colour, like any con coming on to her in her same colour, in the camouflage which keens us to read more Darwin.

    We say it, dreaming of Chile, dreaming of Ecuador, dreaming of endemic islands, rocks, deserts of one piece far from the mainland.

    We say it with fat books and thin books, with old copies of "Fat City," and new copies of Homer. We say goodbye to spring with our knees in the lavender, reading of the Trojan War, in the sizzling morning and nobody is stirring, not even our immense solitude.

    We settle in.

    The vines are ridiculous.

    The pollen world, so beloved by humping bees is quiet, preparing the grapelings on the wires across the path.

    We say it----our goodbye----with the tall skinny aliens-from-outer-space-looking leeks.

    We say it as spring leaves us, as spring abandons us, we say it, giving way to our armpits and necks.

    We say goodbye, before the schoolchildren, we say it with the birds, in celebration the first super terrestrial leek head explodes.

    We say: Hello summer, as the first leek flower explodes from its delicate green-mauve cellophane.

    Now comes the season of love, and the soundtrack at the oddest hours, of the old romances.

    Hello summer. I think I will lay back in my hammock, and put on some Chet Baker.

    I think I will close my eyes and just rock a while to the embouchure of the man and the lyric pain of his trumpet.

    I won't think too much, but only a little bit, how he was pushed out that window in Amsterdam, or fell or jumped in high spring, that bright long sunny day in May of 1988, and his body flew its way home to Southern California.

    I won't think of the cliff, too much, my dear summer, I'll just rock in the hammock awhile, and be down in the ivy and the lavender and the alien pales of gardens.

    I'll just rock me down to the guardrails and listen to the waves, and the valentine surf.

    (Photo by Susan, Portbou Spain, at the French border, October, 1996)
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