Hayscent fern in one windowpane, rhododendron
in another, red barn siding—
you’re staring out the window, as if what you see
out there might wake
the inner word you want, that fugitive, unfaithful
word wed now to silence. As we wait,
I try to imagine your brain as a window
fitted with white squares of mist—then frost,
then snow thickening on one pane, on another,
and another . . . . Slowly
the ferns vanish, scent and root. For you, each moment
arrives and departs in a swift
migration, like the tanagers that didn’t, this spring, return.
Mist over the memory of tanagers.
And now I blank out the panes that frame two oaks
and a rope hammock. . .
a void where once were form and fragrance,
tall trees and the faint
pattern of braided rope—an impression (now
I remember) a fossil
printed on my firm thighs and onto the smooth
under skin of your arms—after
we’d slept there, barely an hour, suspended in sunlight.