Always or afterward, one face tipped open, unguarded—
Beautiful flower pinched from the stem before the bloom,
corolla of calm churning at weather’s
dead center. Have you learned how to be that way,
equanimity unperturbed by whatever descends
from the sky, slate gray, azure, in between?
Go lightly, in joy as in sorrow: these mortal
hours not weighted by custom, unheeding of care.
I used to chafe so much at my lot. Always wanting,
jaded when at last my will and I conspired.
Keepsakes jangled sometimes into my arms, things
like wealth to endlessly catalogue. But they couldn’t
mother the hankering, put to bed the restless-
ness that comes of not having learned the lesson.
Once, I entered a dream that was a kind of humming:
purled sheets of white linen undulating like a sea;
quietly electric, fine-tuned somehow like a pulse.
Read me its meaning, I begged of the soothsayer.
She smiled her dusky smile and had me lie down,
then scrubbed the crooked length of my back
until it unwound and tingled. Fingers traced
vertebrae with rounds of salt and shells of grain,
warming and chilling my core. A sign read
Exit, but I didn’t want to leave so soon.
Your time isn’t up, she said, and I knew—
Zones only feel spectral when light wears a veil.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.