The Last Garden by Cecily Parks


The shadows grow deep enough
to wash my hands in them

in this last garden
where the statuary prepares

for ruin. I practice the listening
that stains the interlocutor like grass.

I practice grass.
The stone nymph leans

into the leanest wash of light
as if it held the remedy for debility and lichen

and all that algae in the fountain
beneath her thirsty feet. The carp creep up

out of the opaque to inhabit my silhouette
and each orange rotation

is a thought asking me to think it.
I think my love of lonesomeness

bewilders my love. I rove
as if I knew no chase more earnest

than that of rust
running over the trellis.




Cecily Parks is the author of the chapbook Cold Work and the collection Field Folly Snow, which was a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award. Her second collection, O’Nights, will be published by Alice James Books in April. She teaches at Texas State University.