Mercy

Let this flutter in the heart simply be 
a bird momentarily confused, unable
to tell banded walls for windows;
hovering all night in place, trying
to track down the source of a waterfall
purling over and over in a narrow channel
of rock—O let its wings not be water-
logged from effort, dreaming of the dish
that sways with the weight of sugar
tipping under the leaves, tired
from the blind distances it's covered.
Surely the moon is here to call it back,
offering an orchid-pocked cheek; a milk
bath, a gleaming plate, a coin for alms.


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