Chinese Box #1

Inside an envelope of rain, a city sleeps
or stirs, making labyrinths, going about its
business. Has it known another fate than to be
a city teeming inside an envelope of rain?

An envelope of rain is still an enclosure,
whether it is mist that barely falls or a torrent.
Living inside, you cultivate belief in color:
saffron and juniper, even the drab of olive—

And even surrounded by dry dust, groves of olives flourish;
stands of cypress establish hardscrabble existence, root
footholds in landscapes of rock. You don’t see the enclosure:
where I’ve dug in my heels, cultivating this thing I love.

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