That Part of the Garden
the Water Wouldn't Reach

By Fernand Roqueplan

           after my first chemo
too tired to carry the hose
beyond the concrete porch's
corroding lips & besides
my feet would be filthed
with clippings since my cheap

           mower mowed without a catcher.
Jesus, John, I begged him,
catch the grass. Twenty more,
he grinned. Dump fee ten, ten
more for the fucking chore
of stopping six times to empty.

           I reached the tomatoes, weeds
now as everything else, fruit molding
in a tangle of vines; I lowered my
thumb on the water-spray as I had
as a cop many times lowered
my hammer - jesuschrist, I told

           God many times: I deserve better
than this. Did I? Where the fuck
were my friends? Did they smell
in me something other than the rot
of death? Am I just like that part
of the garden the water can't reach?