One Hundred Moving Parts of Love  •  poems by lenny dellarocca

He Sweeps

He makes things disappear,
sweeps them away with an old broom—
wedding rings, a flight of birds—all in his waltz.
He sweeps away black feathers and stardust,
whistles a tune heard only by those whose time is up,
while leaves twirl 
in an autumn column of smoke
three stories high
above a house. My mother,
sleeping under a tree has written a letter:

Dear G:

Gravity is a myth.
I’ve become an atheist.

Children dream of momentum and queens
at chess tables under trees.
Their blood is a kind of fire.
Their house is full of crows.
On the walls are tapestries of boys
sweeping the streets of dead towns,
a fresco of Jacob’s ladder,
a scarecrow in a trodden field.
Astrologers at the top of a watchtower
measure the ascension of stars—
choreography in minutes of arc.

All through the rooms,
a far away hissing of straw.

He dances across the zodiac like a shadow across a sundial.
A woman cries: Falling forever is the same as standing still.
But the sweeping man says: There’s no such thing as distance
when there’s all the time in the world.

Dreaming of a pendulum,
I wake the moment my mother dies.
The moment my father dies.
The moment my sister dies.
The moment her eldest son dies.
The moment her second son dies.

And I cant shake the feeling
that I’m being watched, that
that man on the roof,
the man with a broom
in the mirror
isn’t me.

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