Silent now, the yellow house with its host
of hiding places is gray. The true paradises
are the paradises that we have lost.
We threw the geese bread, stiff as toast,
crenellating the loaf; we watered the irises.
Those days are silent now. Without a host
the herb garden is overgrown. Like a ghost
mint lingers on the ground. Rosemary, basil, chives
were my paradises. I have lost
the rows that stretched, when as the tallest
I strode before the class — or toward the apse,
where into the silence the priest raised the host
above his head. And now like the Eucharist,
(like madeleine-laden tea) the taste of Orange Julius
contains the paradises we have lost.
Those who called at me call from bed, dear Proust,
or turn away to peck at sleep. Their memories
are silent now, and I, the only host
of the paradises we have lost.