Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


First Light Edging Cirrus

1025 molecules
are enough 
to call woodthrush or apple.

A hummingbird, fewer.
A wristwatch: 1024.

An alphabet's molecules,
tasting of honey, iron, and salt,
cannot be counted—

as some strings, untouched,
sound when a near one is speaking.

As it was when love slipped inside us.
It looked out face to face in every direction.

Then it was inside the tree, the rock, the cloud.

—2009
 

Credit


From Come,Thief (Knopf, 2011), by Jane Hirshfield. Copyright © 2011 by Jane Hirshfield. Used with permission.

Author


Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield is the author of eight collections of poetry, includingThe Beauty: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015), which was long listed for the National Book Award. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2012 to 2017.

Date Published: 2011-09-22

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/first-light-edging-cirrus