I wanted to write a poem about the solstice
but the tongues of twilight—
flap of umbrous bats & staccato
creak of spotted tree frogs—
urged me out by the pond
where the white lilies
waited & water
hyacinths waded,
their feathery roots
waving just
below surface.  

I wanted to capture the violet moments
before the velvet cape
of night draped itself
over copse & cloud,
limb & vetch,
bird’s eye
& blade.  

I wanted to tell you that this longest
day leaves an aftertaste
of lavender & plum
in my mouth even
as January falls
hard as steel
brittle as brass
around me.