givens

for you, the branches
that shine silver at night.
for you, the silent
understanding between
rabbits, the keening
among the coyotes
back and forth until
we couldn’t pretend
to sleep any longer
and drank tea together
in the dark until dawn.
for you, the strawberries
burning along the path.
for you, the knuckle vines
thrusting themselves
so tightly into the brick
that my landlord says
i had better not bother
with cutting them out,
better to leave them be.
for you, the birds that fly
determinedly through
shopping malls.
for you, the little waves
handed from swell to swell.
for you, eight children
swinging themselves far
into the humid heaven
through clouds of insects
on a wrist thick rope,
then screaming murder
as the pendulum returns
and they are hanging
above the languid
river’s flat embrace,
then falling falling cold.
they are taking turns.
they are timeless, wise.
they are from me for you.
i wanted to write this all
down, tightly bundled,
so that it would be
here when you need it,
but i haven’t captured it.
not all of it, not yet.
there’s still something
i don’t know how to say.

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