I don’t know the Latin names of flowers.
I know that there are cities wherein stars
Will labor to appear in bursts of as
Or under, will command the color green
To work with from or of or in in staves
And paragraphs, will demarcate the limits
Of the sky. I recognize the colors
Of acacia from paintings and poems.
I know a high wind carries rhyme across
The ocean. That smoke, it coaxes signals
From the fire. What words you speak I too
Have spoken of: of of, the turning back,
The opening beyond and up above us,
The movement forward and the reasoning
Behind. I know that the horizon falls out
Of perspective, that toward music the sea
Will harken back and find in language
No beauty save impermanence, a minor awe.
Copyright © 2016 by Sara Nicholson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 9, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.