from ‘starboard blueboard’ again


restless, unable to sleep one still summer night long ago after rain, a boy copied out a poem written in the afternoon, thinking to bring it to a yellow-haired girl’s house.  he rode there through the quiet streets, clouds breaking up to let the stars watch him go.  her house was dark.  he left his bicycle under a tree by the street and quickly crossed the big yard to the porch steps.  as he started up, the wood creaked under his bare feet, and he paused, but then went on, careless of whom he woke, going to her bicycle, to leave the poem in her basket.

how he didn’t hear the door open he didn’t know, but when he turned, a yellow-haired girl was standing there, watching him.   she said,  another poem for me?

when he nodded, she walked over and took the folded paper from her basket.  she held it, looking at it, unfolded, a moment, before looking again at the boy.   he saw her in a way he had never seen anything, as though every moment they had ever spent together, every thought he’d ever had of her, was there, on that porch, alive in the night, and all through his growing body.

unable to hold himself back, he spoke these verses to her

black as egrets are
white            as cloudless midday sky
is deep        fish crows come
to a heartcurved treetop       wild
as my thoughts in flight with you 

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