Vita Nova

You saved me, you should remember me.

The spring of the year; young men buying tickets for the ferryboats.

Laughter, because the air is full of apple blossoms.

When I woke up, I realized I was capable of the same feeling.

I remember sounds like that from my childhood,   

laughter for no cause, simply because the world is beautiful,

something like that.

Lugano. Tables under the apple trees.

Deckhands raising and lowering the colored flags.

And by the lake’s edge, a young man throws his hat into the water;

perhaps his sweetheart has accepted him.


sounds or gestures like

a track laid down before the larger themes

and then unused, buried.

Islands in the distance. My mother   

holding out a plate of little cakes—

as far as I remember, changed

in no detail, the moment

vivid, intact, having never been

exposed to light, so that I woke elated, at my age   

hungry for life, utterly confident—

By the tables, patches of new grass, the pale green   

pieced into the dark existing ground.

Surely spring has been returned to me, this time   

not as a lover but a messenger of death, yet   

it is still spring, it is still meant tenderly.

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