Before Joy

Before joy, the moments that could be
but are clearly not yet joy. The pause,
the windless plain; then, curtain
after curtain saying not this one yet,
perhaps the next. You might as well
slow down and learn all this other
rhetoric of passing for. The orator,
speaker, teacher, master, pulls
a line of knotted squares
from out of the liquid air; look how
they ripple, peach and lime-green,
burnished gold. You love most
the moment before or the moment
after because it is how you know
something bloomed briefly there.

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