I’m drawn to the window where the hummingbirds
come; the shrill sound of wings precedes them;
then they hover at the red sugar water,
feeding before they’re gone.
Yet shall the streams turn back and climb the hills
Before Love’s flame in this damp wood and green
Burn, as it burns within a youthful lady,
For my sake, who would sleep away in stone
My life, or feed like beasts upon the grass,
Only to see her garments cast a shade.
Judith Baumel: The Last Judgment in which Enrico Scrovegni is Seen Presenting a Model of His Chapel to the Blessed Mother￼
Like a litter of mice born bare and squirming
the resurrected emerge from the cracked ground,
their bodies so very pale and hairless
so small and scrawny, stunned and scrambling
to comport themselves.
At the bubbles rising in the pitcher
Of beer to explain consciousness
Which was blurred by that time
August. Midday. Look up: flawless sky
until a cloud sprouts; sidles; suddenly
blots out the sun. Wind troubles the trees
We’re out of love again and wandering
with other birdwatchers over the cedar shakes,
spying on spring nesting sites where great
migrations end and settle into familiar patterns
of rearing and weaning.
I love the bare, the necessary: tree without leaves,
man with no clothes. Muscle and skin, bark, knot,
scar, and stubble. Dignity planted before us without