To press the air, to bless the silhouette,

the owl and the field mice—that argument—
and spare no speck of dust or fleck of light,

all fair and foul, lush and bare: the vine
that takes the barn, the nest inside the brush

(the dog’s muzzle soaked in blood);
to resist caving in, taking comfort

in routine, facts sorted, shrinking from
disorder; to cut the fruit and not think

of the heart, to think of it and not flinch
or flinch and cut through its core all the same,

you wake up, walk out late at night, still dazed
and stand in the yard, which, at day, lolls

under heat, the red trumpet blossoms bob,
where, at dusk, strays rise from the tall grass

to wander streets, a fearless pack
in search of food among the trash you’ve left

exposed. Below, the city rests. You’ll test
yourself the way you always have, a boy

stepping into the dark and the story
it held—whatever it was.



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