Jessica Baran

Find your way back home,
rain. The house is at once and past.
Here, the flowers bloom in the instant
the atmosphere is a pond to reflect on.

His leave-taking is nearing its end.
He knew the assignment, the varicose rash
of speculation eyeing him from outer space,
the space of a red flag knotted to a tree trunk and waving

forever at this quaint kitchen pane.
This is the way it will always be: you
as the bereaved idling through rain stains.
We love to see ourselves again looking like old pictures.

But there was a time we thought it had ended.
Up in the spaceship, the crew pacing circles and tough
by dreams, by spasms of hope. The visitors insisted
on staying. No, he couldn't turn himself away

or survive outside this compartment. The violence
of this small space from which none of us can part,
part from you, is as empty as dewy flowers. The pale
pink peony peeling apart in the stellar distance

like a troubled look on your face, a planet
ever knowing me more. Trouble is, it's miraculous
I do tend to fall for your hair, your little suicides
like velvet ribboned invaders streaming

off your wrists, ours in the daily breezes
that keep coming back again. How truly you are not
built to last, this nebulous lilac scope, this bed
and plastic tray arrangement knowing best

the dreams, where we are near streams,
all of it like snapshots tightening
to replace us, moving along the little shores
picking up the places where we used to be.