Strangling Fruit

(For A. M.)

And her name is full of fire

everyone is hiding in her branches

there in time to dissolve--

the prayer introduces us all

players on a board shake hands with their swords

and all the flora cellar-aged must of creation hides, masquerades, shrinks its all into an unremarkable stone until

the perfumed gardens make orchards, walls highest at sunset

we are all tender for a moment we are all

more than alive

how the wind will make the simple New England church dresses wink hanging loose on the mother's bones, each gust a bride

pinched from the stem, every smile dripping with the fruit

fermented, we become its version of

a single stone, the must of creation does not wait, rather remains still

sharing its secret with baffled water flowing in the steam

not at all anxious to awaken the war of their dream

not at all anxious,

more than alive

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