Vespers

It is not unusual to find heaven
barely disguised
as a friendly breeze
flirting across afternoon skin

paradise thrives in such close quarters,
momentary ecstasy
the only kind
hiding in the space
between filling and tooth

cicadas rasp their last
competing with birds
who do not give me their names
a hungry horizon leaches
the day out of my sky,
turning the page in my lap
grayer by the minute
late light that has always made me
wistful
turning pages of memory
almost
but not quite
faster than I can read them

in my book, a dog dies
and the tears come
as I knew they would;
I am only startled now by
how effortlessly it begins and ends
and wonder if I have finally begun

to live
where there are no boundaries
between joy and sorrow
where there are no boundaries
between today and tomorrow

perhaps there never were

and when the sky has grown too dark
to read, perhaps it is a blessing,
for all scripture is dogma
tied out at a stake
to chafe our necks raw with yearning
for what we were born with
and we only run and growl in our sleep

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