An Archaeologist Revisits a Passage

I saw you in the morning light the day before
creation. You were singing in the clouds of dust,
yourself a ceaseless song, the only melody
I never memorized, the first quatrain of spring.
All the autumn leaves did rush up to form a choir.
And hymns of mist composed your feet. It was the world
held in an instant, in a song repeated twice
and then no more. It was each echo solidified
into ivory. I lived a thousand lives for you, to learn
the patterns of your falling leaves, the alphabet
you wrote one day in rain.

I dream I write your name
in water, backwards, with my left hand, and know
how hard the coming tide will flay the shore.
My shadow’s turning back to you. The reeds
are growing in my chest and in my eyes.
The photons fall in different ways for you. The light
is lingering on the clock hand’s edge.

I’ll cross the bridge of stolen time with you,
to reconstruct the legend of your youth
and find the silent bloom that can disclose
what gold-vermilion shades your eyelids enclose,
the pre-eternal garden speaking sleep,
the way the oak trees grow within your veins,
and never miss the words, or let my breath
pass above your hair, like something being said.

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