By | 1 February 2020

Before the divine inventions of dawn
& grief, before all bare beginnings, there
is the body’s intention to sing.
The river wants to hear it
& so does the shadow abandoned
by its owner under the chestnut tree, waiting
with its palm extended in supplication
like the vagrant in Brueghel’s painting.
Here in the garden, time waits
like the slowest fire while autumn dies
in eddies of gin-clear amber.
Having planted my voice here in the garden
by the end of last spring—where I’ve prayed
for harvest but the soil remains
stubbornly fruitless, I can no longer sing
yet the night air parts before me of its own accord
like water cleaved by vibration
& through its sheer blue curtains
drifting apart, I can make out the snow geese
lifting the cold songs of their bodies—
unimpeded by hunger, nor by their dresses
of damp feathers—toward a light
we on earth no longer believe in.

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