& just the vermillion
flicker of cannas near the pane.
Our bodies too, plateaued;

my hole, newly bloomless.
Outdoors, further out, a wren
winnows, the mesquite

on whose yielding limbs the all-
but-tender fowl rests
flexes, in cold as in darkness . . .

Time, like desire, expands too—
no? My lover, nodding gently,
shakes the leaves, &

A little softer. A little softer now
A little softer, for what’s been torn.

Copyright © 2022 by Jada Renée Allen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 17, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.