in your hands
Everything burns brighter in your hands--
the matchstick, dried leaf, my cheek in your hands.
How does the horizon capture the sun? And how
can it bear to let go again? You hold clouds in your hands.
Do birds get songs stuck in their heads?
I murmur the answer into your hands.
Where do all the saved ashes go, those urns
holding strangers? Bouquets never dry in your hands.
What does the moon do to feel indulgent?
Pull me in like the tide with your hands.
Why do flowers never cry? And why do we cut them?
My hair turns to paper cranes in your hands.
Is that light a star? It has to be--
nothing else stays so still in your hands.
When we die, the last breath emerges as a honey bee.
I kiss your palm, magnolia blooms in your hands.
Sometimes, too much
light gets in. Eyes wide
as belladonna, pupils
dilated full of black
cherries. You swallow
the question dawning
in your throat: Where
does time go?
Unmoored in the red
maw of morning,
the mind--a roof
above the lantern,
a flower bed, perhaps
a film projector,
every sunset at once.
Maybe death is just
your favorite radio
station cutting out
at the edge of town,
a static greeting
Nothing is implied.
Just the spacious
breath of division.
Copyright © 2016 Map Literary and Isabelle Shepherd