In a Silent Way

The wounded deer
died in the impossible
garden. Did it become
the orchid that shouldn’t
be there, the cactus dying
in a rain puddle? The trestle
bridge carries more weight
than my body, but the heft
of a memory changes
everything. I look between
the cracks in words for
a place that will hold water,
a place sand can fill with
temporary glass. An owl
I love for its elusiveness,
as if it was always there
in the tree, so still its fakeness
eclipses its call. The world
isn’t prone to forgive imagined
thought, but eventually
all light decides to acquiesce.
I turn all aspirations into
driftwood and sandstone.
The wounded deer died
in the impossible garden,
but a word made it resurrect
itself into perfectly honed
light. What reflects the self
back to the self isn’t eternal
or a finite ending. I left
the flower that made me
think of you for another day—
it’s still deep in the woods
of my memory, holding
this world so perfectly in place.
Surely those Fields are Shorn by Now

And I turn myself into
some new species of goldfinch
flying against the window
into whatever reflection
I see with these tiny
eyes. The acres of cane
go un-harvested
this year, floods of fire
like stallions from the clouds
or some wisteria growing indoors
with tangles of purple blooms
longing for open fields
in place of this room. It wasn’t
snowing, but it was. We
needed new names for
colors, we needed
ancient ways to say words
like love, like seldom,
like plumberry, like love. Now
in my forties, I feel less sure
of iridescent thoughts,
but in that uncertainty
I feel enough joy to sustain
this life to whatever
follows. In these moments
of forced silence, there lives
a sort of happenstance only
known by barbarians
and artists dressed as thieves
or thieves dressed as artists. Both
hello and goodbye suggest
we will continue down
this trellis we’ve built from
our sudden storm of affection
for one another and for
our selves. A vine will go
where a vine wants to grow.

Adam Clay
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