All these years, I've looked for a pattern:
on painted ceramic plates, blue spatter of a willow,
deft foliage reflected in blue waves of water on which

a single boatman is traveling. I've seen
that footbridge leading to a house in the mountains,
a wall of stones shoring up an edge of earth—

And then, every detail in miniature, as if
a careful hand laid them there against the moss
for someone to marvel at. I can see

a figure in an upstairs window, but I don't know
if it is me or you. I don't know if there is a bed in that
room; or if we are old or older, since we can be

only those things now. Spring or fall, different
colors enter the world and bind themselves
to the books we're making. Summer

or winter, we decant clouds of light and dark.
I think I know how the story ends, how it always ends;
but the woman singing in the hills has other ideas.

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