Ordinary Psalm with Errant Joy and Devastation
I’m outside eating a bag of cold cherries,
my lips bloodied with ripeness.
Sealight christens the grass
where the dog we’ve named after you
lies down low in a ditch.
My daughter steps inside our abandoned cottage,
three of the five windows shattered,
a hummingbird dead on the floor.
This morning, before we drove out here,
my neighbor hurried after me with a poem
he’d transcribed from refrigerator magnets.
Not sure what he wanted, I can still hazard a guess.
Because what is a poem if not the intention
to pin the river we are becoming down before dinner?
Already the evening’s first bats work the sky’s trapeze.
The dog is a whisk dipped in mud,
so that wherever I touch him, I darken.
Now my daughter lays the tiny bird in her palm
and looks close at the delicate overlay of plumage,
the iridescent rust and emerald wings,
a stippling on the throat’s underside.
Only the orbitals empty. And why not believe
it was you that set this miraculous corpse here;
that has visited us again, but this time to speak clearly
to the devastation the poem calls a heart,
and the heart calls a poem,
neither knowing exactly how to keep alive
anything wild and doomed.