as if there were any other place
where love exists. A heaven, for instance.
Or a hell, defined by heaven’s absence. Earth
is all there is. Our moments on it scarce.
Stones become cherry trees, blossoms, fruit.
But in the end, always, it’s a race against birds,
who, like us, suspicious of a later sweet,
will eat the sour now. And love it.
What do I do with this mud
caked on the basement floor
in the shape of your boot tread?
July. Hiking. Visiting flowers un-bedded,
distinct from our back garden;
the way you praised the woodsy thistle,
his magenta head bowed in self-
As if he, too, wondered
at his prickly leafed wings, whether
he might fly. Never once suspecting
autumn. The down. The wind.