To Tell of Bodies Changed

To Tell of Bodies Changed

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Having desired little
more than the

arrival of the little more
that arrives,

outside our window a cypress
of model proportions.
Its patience seems to widen
the nights we sleep in Rome.

Warm flags draw a tortoise,
it scrapes too near.
Our friends hurry over when they hear,
exclaiming over its mute
resolute
distinctness and helpless slow efforts to flee.

Density pours into swallows and shadows:
spilled with abandon each morning,
begins then the slow work
of receding.

The joints announce their new allegiances.
Metaphors swarm the surfaces of things.

Night broken into, it’s the sub rosa
singling out
I ought to have expected
from Fra Angelico’s small panel
among others,
the souped-up full-spectrum wings
combined with a mood of reverent submission
in both figures
warning of experience
yet to come.

Starting now she’ll reason with herself
deliberately
(imagine bulbs expecting stars
for effort!), aware of being always overheard,
subject to unprecedented measures
of integrity, like an author.

While a substance of landscape, mineral,
leaches into blood vessels
quietly steadily, meaning in this case
nothing is damaged;
extravagance of umbrella pines
propping their fingers under the bonus horizons
of the hills, redundancies
boosting the city’s resemblance to itself.

A painter once squared himself against a difficult question
and said no one could just create
a landscape,
but isn’t it true
that expectation builds a neighborhood
and there is nowhere else that you can live.

It was possession, turns out, by a force whose intention
touched the first body alone, a body changed
again precisely to its own form,
a very special intention.

Alloyed
discretion, the grit of a damp trowel
explores my mouth, at leisure
determining
the candor that cavity
is good for.

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