What makes the morning cool and gray, sprinklers
rinsing the grass and light settling on the shoreline of dawn,
gives one peace of mind
or its haunting.
Lawn chairs are folded, neighbors asleep, all shadows
non-human except mine — and still, I hear someone
coughing. A low, smoker’s cough. The sound familiar
but you’re away on business.
A long stretch of continent and time. I’d say somewhere
on a twilit bridge watching instinct
move wild swans along the river. Chess pieces
with no opponent
just questions of strategy. How to win back that share
of tolerance we’ve lost within the last
few months. But not love (which never left) Listen, the wind
strikes something briskly, mountain shale to ignite the sun;
and somewhere you strike a match. The moment flares, a last look
as willows drag the water for deeper thought
and I hear more coughing —
or maybe the sky
clearing its throat of daylight’s silt.