Gluck's Bee

A guilty woman thinks
too much about thinking
or does she? The bee I meant
to cut from its death-trap
spider web in the lamp
that lit my garden reading;

my convenience to keep it
there just long enough to finish
Gluck's lines: if I wanted only
to hold you, I could hold you

This morning, warm tea,
yellow light, jasmine vines,
forgotten bee, black, poisoned,
shrouded. Now, the poet's words
make little sense to me:

those with the smallest hearts
have the greatest freedom.

Call It: Listen

What a bird must feel with wings torn from spine or more
merciful, never grown hollow bone to bone at all, or heart
drained blood, a stranger to purpose, a sky stripped
darkness, stars plucked out- a man and absent love.

What harms you, calls for you. To the mind of a child
the birthing room is light-filled, the unknown crib
is not a tomb. Your father's hand, the scythe it will become
wraps you like a horse's tongue on newborn foal; names you.

No one cares about your drama now. It is important to exist
because the terrible, damaged can sing without voice, fly without
wing, beat without blood, shine in the star-less darkness
surviving absence. What harms you, calls for you: listen.


The Intricate

We barely have time to touch; the intricate rarely
surviving the distance between long, brambled meadows
and purple-dawned irises opening. In another life,

not the one we are born in, but the one in which we are
simply imagined, the world is radiance, less flickering
memory. Years gone by, the house that we lived in, I still live-

the smoke-smells from chimney, cold specks of star choking
in sky, silver-weed shining in moonlight as I close my eyes,
each burst of thunder marching across wheat fields, a message

that darkness has meaning, mourning a union, uncertainty
moving towards tender acceptance- an un-worldly gift;
we barely have time to touch the intricate, rarely surviving it.