A dove calls and calls,

but its mate remains hidden.

Clouds cast their shade,
dimming the pond’s surface.

Each leaf turns a calendar page,
fast-forwards from spring to summer.

Gardenias flood cisterns with scent,
hang their skirts along the tops of fences.

I can’t decide which is most
jewel-like: fields with their florid

kabala of scents, flotilla of
lightning bugs cutting paths at dusk.

My palms itch from an old memory of sunlight;
no one sees when I lay lay them

open on the sill as if in an attitude of
prayer. What stories are not sown with

quicksilver rain? A kind of language
passed patiently through

sleeves of cheesecloth: its message being
Take time, take time.

Unpin the cotton and linens from the line.
Vinyl records let you listen to the needle

work the music from their grooves—
Xiphoid notes drawn by hand on music sheets,

yellowed like old ivory. Watch how in a
zoetrope, shadows tell a whole story.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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