Do not make me one of the trees bowing
in soft wind, not the heavy branches at sway

or the murmuring leaves. But let me be a molecule
of water flowing in the veins, the inner blood

pressured through the rings. Nothing so grand
as ocean waves crumbling on a beach, or the river

running down boulders into the sea. But the moment
between salt and saltless, where two waters meet.

Hear me. I am less than a single ray of sun
or the hawk gliding over Gold Hill.

So let me instead ask to become the light
refracted from the hawk’s pebble eye,

or the passing moment before the quiet
rabbit is caught running wild.

And when morning comes, it won’t do to cast me
in the part of Peter, John, or the other men,

not as part of the question, “Do you love?”
or its answer. Not in the command to feed

lambs or sheep, but as one ember sent
from the campfire cooking breakfast,

the breath of burning timber that sears fish,
bakes the bread broken like shells, by the sea.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Related Poetry

Nothing More


Todd Davis

blurry pink and white blossoms moving in the wind.

Lullaby for the Aborted Child


Khaled Mattawa

Byzantine Gold


Derrick Austin

close up image of a grasshopper seen from underneath, presumably floating on a glass.

Don’t beckon yet!…


Pēters Brūveris

Pin It on Pinterest