Muse and Other Poems


through the trees, breathless,
the grouse leads us steady
as a rope. a marvel
to be undone or free or black
or natural. or to climb. or to deliberate the danger
of one’s weight among the limbs
and free sparrows. she remains, and we might almost have her
in our hands, and her body must be real
in its hunger which is not like ours that comes
because we thought to come. but even so
she stays close enough
that we might be tempted to reach out
suddenly, the way the body just knows
when to gallop or swallow. she flies near enough
that we remark upon her face and know her sounds,
and hold them in their place. and she whips
off just when we might make of her smallness
a religion—she hops and swoops
on a wound the wind makes
before it pools with the new air
of our laughter in imagining how lazily
we could move and still hold her brown banquet down
almost flat against the mossy ground, and though she cannot
we have no interest in her children, in the children
of anyone—whether drowned or folded
neatly as a curtain—she knows we are animals that do not need
to need children to take them—we say she leads us with her body.

Something Cast from Bronze

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