How are we always putting things
into our mouths, tearing them
into little pieces with our fingers,
feeding the oldest fish that lives
at the bottom of the river?
Tracing lazy circles in green mud,
it is always hungry. Why does it never
sleep? It doesn't take much to imagine
the clayey cold brushing against its belly,
the gold courtship of lighter bodies
it sees floating nearer the blue-green flick
of dragonfly wings. It takes work to pack
a vessel so no space is empty, so none
of those little yawning pockets grow
into holes that want to swallow all light.
I don't mean just excess. And I don't mean
the oily film that bubbles across the surface
because someone has failed to remember
to keep certain things to themselves.
At the end of the day I grow tired
of this kind of care. I want to live
inside a smaller gesture, go to bed
every night with my heart feeling light
as a monk who's lived only on a mouthful
of herbs and water for weeks but still
walks the fields, scattering bread
and salt upon the ground.

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