—owes a debt to Anne Sexton’s “Just Once”
Once a day, I see a flash of white-patched feathers, hear a cable wire mockingbird teach itself a new tune, and understand life is for joy. For the garden. Today, skeletons of fruit trees show green the first time this year. They rattle, dance, catch sun and my carefully selected words. I tell secrets and try for truth, but I know so many good lies. I am certain we will be intimate again—you are weak to my hands tugging on your shirt and my hot breath in your ear. Take me, please… I wish I could make a copy of my face and body. Gift it to you. Throw my scar daises on the fire you are called to, while I’m hanging on the line. But you’ll be back soon, to contain what I made grow. To say let me pick you up and mean let’s catch feelings and be sick together. I know what I’m doing when I don’t let you in and regret nothing. When you refuse to leave, I don’t cry but point out the edge of my territory. I defend this much—this bird canticle, this melody coming heavy and rich over wet earth. A pair of seeds I keep in my pocket and feel with damp fingers. What I know better than to forget—who I am without you.