( For Lawrence and Anna)
An hour ago
or maybe less, the air mellow,
you came into his arms
having shed your wings
on the kitchen floor.
And now you want to leave
spreading long-necked and arm-slender
over your crinkled plumage of maps.
The first layer a continent,
the second its countries. The third and fourth,
their old cities — composed of bridges
basilicas, and boulevards, canals
harbors and hills opening
into vineyards or gardens. Just think
you have lived and loved
in some of these places
with each year’s migration —
their echo and scent in your bones,
(your delicate infrastructure).
And the rest
still waiting for you to come
in this life or the next.
But for now, he asks you to stay
shifting from air to earth,
thermals to a thermos of coffee.
Outside, mallards swim on the lake.
The sun at soprano pitch
shattering cool water
into golden sparks. The light and green of it,
a spring evening you haven’t seen together.