It’s the end of day,
smell it, she commands. Feel it.
End of day is a smell. Smell it. Twilight breathing into
the first drifting ripples of night, a stale exhalation.
Dust freckles drumming the sky. Jasmine perfume
losing and finding its way innocently.
End of day smells like the inevitable, folding up
its legs, and getting ready to levitate.
Sometimes it is redolent of remembered fire.
How does your end of day smell? she asks the class
arrayed randomly before her in the grey grainy room.
Her retinas imploded in a car crash and
after that she grew eyes on the inside. Safe.
Easy to maintain.
Soon she found she had beautiful eyes. And she
could see better. And why hadn’t colors
been this brilliant before? These vain vixen hues
she now saw in old places, friends’ faces…
Her own look changed nothing. Silver hair knotted up
atop her head, fringe mopping down on the forehead
with its sagging moons and wells.
Vertical body lines taut with untaught parallels.
She continued her poetry lessons at college. Haiku. Free verse.
The students watched her rhyme fingers and hands.
Her skirts walking on her toes. Her inside eyes.
Close your eyes. Suck in your ears. Throw away your fingers
and sit still. Let the silence undress before you. Watch.
A poem is birthing.
Feel its deep pain. Your heart sliced open. Throbbing.
Then go closer. Swirl in its heat. Sweat in fear. Panic.
Fall on the ground. Roll in the dust.
No gentleness here.
Birthing is not elegant. Or easy.
Silence. Eyes closed. Words making love.
Watch its rhythm, its heartbeat, as it grows… calms…
swallows a few silken sounds, slows its step,
watch the poem fly out the window.
One day, months or even years later, it will return. Grey-haired.
Supple. Soulful. Ready to be owned.
A handful of light remains. It feels overripe. Or hungry.
It’s the end of day. She smells it.