Monday, March 17, 2008


All the light was north, snow on skylights,
the year I lived in the painter's studio.

Scrub forest behind the dunes, a litter
of deer tracks and shotgun shells.
I tied an orange bandanna around
the husky's neck.


I knew the dark place was wrong. I walked the letters
of my name, which I did not recognize spoken.

Low corridors.
Me. Her. The I
I could not find.

All the trees had fallen the same way
in the storm. A landscape pointing.

Anyone could happen like that.


The husky ate a bee
out of the air, snapped herself shut
on compound eyes, wing-blur, button
of darkness and buzz.


A rabbit streaked from under my feet.
Its nest fit my loose fist.
A cup of winter grass, still warm.

Home is the first everywhere,
the place we go out from.


The bee flew lower. Pollen graining its legs
drizzled onto linoleum shine. The room

was a different color for each of us. My shadow
bright blue-green in bee sight.

How could it not recognize the window
colored open?


I longed to be among trees. They wavered
beyond glass, beyond wire. They could not
be changed into words. They could not be changed
into anything. Even a camera couldn't see
the thick air around them, how it carried
sounds whole like water does,
how it supported slow birds.


Bee against pane, translucency
of wings. Centuries flew
against the glass. Then we found
the larger place: earth, that blue ark
afloat in the wilderness of space.

We cannot count ourselves out.


How beautiful it was
before we knew. How sweet how

A faint music falls from the stars—

no it does not.

Pamela Alexander

Slow Fire
Ausable Press

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