Entangle

POEM:

Sometimes I prefer not to untangle it.
I prefer it to remain disorganized,

because it is richer that way
like a certain shrubbery I pass each day on Reba Street

in an unimpressive yard, in front of a house that seems unoccupied:
a chest-high, spreading shrub with large white waxy blossoms—

whose stalks are climbed and woven through simultaneously
by a different kind of vine with small magenta flowers

that appear and disappear inside the maze of leaves
like tiny purple stitches.

The white and purple combination of these species,
one seeming to possibly strangle the other,

one possibly lifting the other up — it would take both
a botanist and a psychologist to figure it all out,

—but I prefer not to disentangle it,
because it is more accurate.

My ferocious love, and how it repeatedly is trapped
inside my fear of being sentimental;

my need to control even the kindness of the world,
rejecting gifts for which I am not prepared;

my apparently inextinguishable notion
that I am moving toward a destination

—I could probably untangle it
yet I prefer to walk down Reba Street instead

in the sunlight and the wind, with no mastery
of my feelings or my thoughts,

purple and ivory and green, not understanding what I am
and yet in certain moments remembering, and bursting into tears,

somewhat confused as the vines run through me
and flower unexpectedly.

—Tony Hoagland