like a slap, like a bone, like a spice,
like a thought gone still in the light,
another kind of sorrow, a kind of life,
a cheek stroked, then freckled.
Its rhythm amounts to injury, to a small space.
No singing. Just a sack of air, a soiled shirt,
more sermonizing that picks away at the grass.
There is no seedbed of ecstasy,
just mildew in the sheets, and prayer
like a crack at the birds
who without pause, shape themselves
out of flight, out of song.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.