Sheets boiled with lavender, the hard bed. Handmade eye pillow filled with Great Northerns. Cactus to the ceiling, orange corsages. No embarrassment, a calm that is the opposite of ambition, I think. Mind like a diary unlocked on the dresser, pages lifting in breeze. Like those vivid flowers. Amethyst on a chain: external heart. Heirlooms in a shallow basket I can look at without regret, or regard and weep, kneeling, beside. A water glass, my eyeglasses, arms open in a waiting embrace. Sleeping on my husband's chest, his undershirt dryer-warm, arresting as a cloud in a black-and-white photograph.
Darkness wounds the barley,
etching it with denser clouds. A herd sends its
envoy out to nose the garbage at
road’s edge before creeping into the expanse.
And the rest follow with cheap hunger—
ten at once through the swaying curtain, heads
tipped, disappearing in the dim.
Wrong to think of them as vessels
in which your feelings live, leaping across emptiness.
Light a candle. Entertain pity all evening.
It isn’t the deer’s work to hold you. That isn’t you
growing full in the field. Paint them, your
heaviest brush lavish with creams and blacks,
trembling, timid, before the canvas.