Compline

“Will the bird rise flaming out of broken light?” ~ Karen An-hwei Lee

When your arms encircled my waist from behind,
I thought a bird had come to light on my shoulder—

and I could not speak immediately for feeling
how densely overgrown the floor of the forest had become,

how at odd times in the night a ringing begins
on the shore of one ear and echoes across to the other.

You walked across the barrier and met me at the gate,
and it took minutes for us to realize we were in tears.

Now, days after, I look around: everything the eye
picks out wants to be the color of a sunset, of clementines.

Imagine small words like fragments of bone:
ten of them strung together are called a mystery;

and I know I have no qualifications to speak of but sometimes
I dare to address the future in intimate terms.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Pepys Noir.

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