What choice has the ox when it comes
to the edge of the field but turn
and walk to the other end? I am always
trying to balance the weight of the yoke,
the way it slides down shoulders
from the friction of years. Even when
it’s put away, I have a manner
of walking that signals furrow
and stubble before I open my mouth.
If a dove touches down, if a phoenix
or a tongue of flame in the middle
of the field, I’d feed it whatever
it is I carry if I knew how. How to hear
the sound of a different color? The bright-
ness of copper or gold, the shimmer
in the pause of just standing still.