First, a shimmering—

the bird a white, wounded thing
weaving its way through the rushes,

nothing but the shadow of its heart
beating a faint pulse on the water,
in what we assume can only be

desolation. It bends
its neck again and again
in the shape of a question

against the blue slate of a day
that might otherwise be called
perfect. And yes we know better:

nothing so deeply immersed
in time and chance can be perfect.
But nothing can be so finished, meaning

that though the hour is either too late
or too early, place is immaterial only if
the body has given up its claim on the soul.


In response to Via Negativa: Engrossed.

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