Poem for Haruko

By June Jordan

I never thought I’d keep a record of my pain
or happiness
like candles lighting the entire soft lace
of the air
around the full length of your hair/a shower
organized by God
in brown and auburn
undulations luminous like particles
of flame

But now I do
retrieve an afternoon of apricots
and water interspersed with cigarettes
and sand and rocks
we walked across:
                            How easily you held
my hand
beside the low tide
of the world

Now I do
relive an evening of retreat
a bridge I left behind
where all the solid heat
of lust and tender trembling
lay as cruel and as kind
as passion spins its infinite
tergiversations in between the bitter
and the sweet

Alone and longing for you
now I do


"Poem for Haruko" from Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems by June Jordan, edited by Sara Miles and Jan Heller Levi, Copper Canyon Press, 2005. (c) 2005, 2021 June M. Jordan Literary Estate Trust. Used by permission. www.junejordan.com