The angel was here, not a moment ago.
All that remains, I’m afraid,
is that jangling jackhammer in the street,
the distant sirens.
You will wait right here all day,
but the angel has always only just departed.
Your lover was here just now.
It’s a wonder you did not see her
on the stair. All that remains
is the scent of almond blossoms in the air,
intimations of the dark cascade, a disappearance
of caraway upon the tongue.
This bitterness is a song without words.
Wreathed in the unremembered melody,
you will sit here all day, unmoving.
From the backs of your hands,
tendrils, tender, pallid as pea-shoots,
reach into the room.
From your palms the thirsty root-hairs
descend into the floor.
Your only job is words
and the vanishing sound
words barely leave behind.’
DB Jonas is an orchardist and writer living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. Born in California in 1951, he was raised in Japan and Mexico, was educated at the Universities of California (Irvine) and Padova, Italy, and earned postgraduate degrees at Princeton and Yale. After a long career in business and the sciences, he has returned to an early avocation in poems.