Pain, joy, sadness,   
the small alphabet of departure,     
a deep well of tears,     
your heart like a folded banket,    
the name of a loved one hiding everywhere,  
the funnels of want    
inside the long heat, what pleasure—    
a soft, petaled cheek   
skin remembers—    
the tender gravity of kindness.      

The lit window of childhood     
the house of muttering,
how the words ignite   
the words under the words,     
how the rooms heaved into silence,   
rivery ripples carrying you back,   
the soft hue of memory, moss green,   
the train whistle’s ancient sound,    
all my questions    
What if? What if?    
the ideas you carry close to your bosom,
folding into yourself   
a secret pouch of listening,   
hum of a dream deep inside you,    
a soft place in the middle of the evening,   
books to open and open and open,    
the polished edge of
a rose curling up its petals,    
a prayer spoke secretly.    

You know what to do.    
Carry the endless surprise of      
sky and birds in your heart,   
a sense of shifting    
always rooted to  
endless minutes of green.    
Wake up filled with possibilities,  
the borders you must cross    
where memories rest in heaps.   
The days are nouns: touch them,    
stitch them together, slowly, slowly.    
Worship the world of trees,    
the clear breath of mountains,    
crows roosting in trees—
black bags of darkness.    
Bathe in the cool voice    
of the moon speaking its own round name.      

It’s hard to be a person   
clenching and opening,   
carrying tender spots.  
Be deep water
opening up and up, amazed.    
Name what doesn’t change.    
Tell the truth.
We have all been saved so many times.    
It’s late but everything comes next.
The whole sky says Your move.