left shoelace, nail-width space
once tethered by a button; street
washed by too much rain— Come in,
come in, take off your sandals,
cool your fevered throat.
On the road you smell the flowers—
Peonies bursting with the shade
of cream, blushing; their plush,
the texture of suede. Swooning arcs
of wisteria, undividing the fence.
The heart wants to confess how much
smaller it feels today than yesterday,
and the day before; how frightened it is
of what it will surely be asked to bear.
It wants to climb the hill and rest there,
let the wind stream through the rooms, prop
all its windows open. What threads the needle
burning through the canopy? You didn’t know
kindness could still unravel from the inside
of whorled green shells. The heart wants
to trade its tattered rags for a square
of cotton, a piece of hollow bone; one clear note
to fly like a flag, but not yet in surrender.
~ “The poem is for those who’ve lost.” ~ Sean Thomas Dougherty