Three Poems by Dana Garrett
Remembering Deng Xiaoping and Tiananmen Square

A streetlight discloses my Lexus
In the driveway. Neighbors assemble
On porches in unseasonable warm air.
Two days into a new year and whispers
Creep over the gutters. They transgress my lawn
Then rise like distant statues.

There is much to discuss but why should I
Account for my success? Next they’ll play
A guitar and sing past the curfew.
I’ll ask the police to take care
And not park on my grass.

The Fence

I am too much but not enough
for you to want me.
I am not enough but too much
for you to go.

Stopped between love and commitment
we believe honesty is silent
about conclusions, as if stepping off
a fence is to abandon the ground.


Now that I've explained my silence I think
you too stare at our street's distant streetlight

the one I saw through curtains of an Amarillo Holiday Inn
the night my parents slept after kidnapping me

from a California dream girl   the end
of a vacation a highway the streetlight illumines  rolling on

Delaware waters and the seaside hospital evening
they shoved tubes into my virile dying body

and I was thinking  God
no grace dwells outside under the streetlight

under any streetlight

until last summer   Philadelphia flickered
past under our wings  descending

from Wyoming and Yellowstone and I knew how
I loved you better in buffalo shadowed moonlight and no streetlight

except our street's distant streetlight
I think you too stare at now

Dana Garrett