As in the parable, the truant lover
arrived. Morning, not a sample a quotation,
It was only a bird! but let’s forget
about those hidden references touched
by something the I don’t know that keeps flying
out of your mouth when I’m talking.
To believe or not believe that is not the question.
Why not the frosty eyelid turning to feathers?
Why not your hand slurred among the sheets
off to educate the woolen peony
of desire, five-fingered glove.
This bed in a bare-walled room, alone
is northern enough
to bend a branch, twist a mind.
In the mind, the sparrow is other, not you
though you also were legislated to fly—
Let’s measure the raw, archaic cold
tweezed by chopsticks.
Why not this palace of ice?
Then tears, too, appraised:
a bird stolen from a branch is unforgivable.
In forgiveness, one might easily believe all poems
were about her.