I, too, believed Brahms had been Rumi in a former birth.
It was the baton, of course, the way it completely silenced talk.

Was it on account of our mission to French Equatorial Africa that the sleep
     sessions returned?
The circumscription of an interpreter’s words might land us in a field of
     very young celery.

Greece left me with an achingly blue sky.
India, with a tenderness whenever I eat cornflakes and remember the musk
     of water-buffalo milk.

When I was a boy I loved oatmeal.
I even craved it with maple syrup for years into adulthood.

Like you, I believed oats were oats.
I fancied myself a reader of palms, of calculatedly private stances in public doorways.

If you ask me the way to Douala, all I will say is sewing machine or wounded clock
or hoarse peacock throat in the dice.
Fresh vegetables, I imagine, recognize—with compassion—the kindest of mouths.

When we say we grow older every day, what is it we mean exactly?
Are we talking about the 11 o’clock news, the aging of my mother’s face, or the way
     a sphex shivers our wrongs when its minute muscles lay an egg?  end