At night beneath mosquito netting, we’d lie in the garden—
Beneath my hands and lips your body, a garden within a garden.
By wilted roses, I kissed your breasts and believed I would hear
Nightingales, but there were no birds in the garden.
Even at this hour, you can hear the passing traffic. I listen
For footsteps on the walkway, but who’d visit an empty garden?
There are office buildings and apartments all along the street,
A billboard advertising Japanese motorcycles, parked in a garden.
I look for the oldest man I can find and ask him, “Over there,
Didn’t there used to be a garden?”
He shakes his head, laughs with missing teeth. “You’re confused.
I’ve lived here all my life. There was never a garden.”