When the rain stops at last so many skins
cover the drenched ground, though small

unripened fruit still cling
high on the tree— as if difficulty

never changes the heart of things.
I learned that lesson late and now am wary,

though the light that rings the world
when the sun returns allows me to forget

from time to time how I labor, how we
aren’t spared— How the fire, when it comes,

and the winds, will pass like twin flames from one
mouth absorbed only by its own shimmering.

There was a man who held his wife in his arms
in the water, in the deepest part of the pool,

hoping the two of them together would make
an alloy to survive that bright

encroaching. I know how hard it is
to give up the habit of persistence—

We want to pray and not surrender,
we want to trace a wide alchemical circle

inside of which sorrow might find
the strength to abandon itself.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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