End of Winter
“the air that was yesterday, is what you are” — from Ashbery’s “Spring Day”
Sometimes, meditating, I visualize my grandparents’ backyard so clearly I swear I leave my soul there, actually there, a ghost.
A ghost is insubstantial though, is not a soul. Two ounces of spirit the body leaves to stay earth. Heaven unhinged from the spinning we stand on. Heaven everywhere, the standing still we are always passing.
Not standing still, I float from the shed roof to the white cobble lane back my grandfather’s garage, and my cousins clap, and I bow. Not standing still, I float from the shed roof to my grandmother’s clothesline off the yew hedgerow. The lane behind the garage is empty as sky, the cobble white as clouds. Through the wall I can smell sawdust in piles under the table saw, and little flecks of oil, like the memory of rain, soaking into the concrete.
I open my eyes and am home, returned from my dreaming of home. Outside it is raining, little pat-pats against the window, so many heartbeats. Come back to sleep they say, running together. Soon a river, then leaves; spring’s forms heavy inside them, the forgetfulness already starting.
Stuart Greenhouse is the author of the poetry chapbook “What Remains.” Poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, The Collagist, Laurel Review, Ninth Letter Online, and Notre Dame Review.