Van Gogh stops by
In my garden.  Death 
feels chilly so he wants 
a morning back on Earth.

I told him I admired 
his iris paintings.  
He thanked me, didn’t remember 
painting them.  
Death boiled off the past.  
The pain went—
but so did the joy.  
Forever was about making do.  

I hoped he’d stay long enough 
to see the iris open.    
He vanished like pollen.  

When this iris blooms, 
maybe he’ll be there, rising
through roots, his face 
a sunny yellow.


Vincent Van Gogh, Irises (1890), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Kenneth Pobo

Kenneth Pobo has a new book out called The Antlantis Hit Parade. His work has appeared in: Amsterdam Review, Mudfish, Hawaii Review, Two Thirds North, and elsewhere.