Detail of Paradise

(Giovanni di Paolo, ca. 1440)

Particularity evidently survives in paradise.

Your own uniform, the modesty of it, still fits.

Your bruises and cuts still glimmer.

The goldapple trees still stand up like the very first numbers you ever learned,

and love’s sentence—I am so glad you’re here—is still what you say.

from Stubborn, Jean Gallagher, © 2006 by Jean Gallagher. Reprinted by permission of Oberlin College Press.