Sunday, July 19, 2020

Church Bells

Smoke from the neighbor's grill, wind grazing the tops of roadside maples. When we are ready, we are ready. What else could Jesus say?

Blue jays and robins, grackles and sparrows, and poems about birds, and essays about poems about birds, and birds. I have been here before, I know how it ends.

Something interior nods, finds itself nodding back in the U.S. flag halfway up a nearby telephone pole. Fifty turtles, a thousand turtles, a million turtles - there are no turtles!

There is only this: this this.

In Plainfield, twice a week at noon, they ring the church bells. In the attic window facing Main Street, we set an electric candle. Whatever we eat dies, and we are not exempt from this or similar laws.

Fresh peas, spinach, kale, chives. Tomatoes tight against green stalks bending as they near the sky. My breath catches, my heart races.

I sit out all night on a blanket watching stars wheel between soft clouds barely lit by a waxing crescent moon. The sound a hammer makes laced with silver. Now it is dusk, now it is not.

Now we are lost in thought. It is not possible that the mail will always please us.

"There is something sweet and intelligent in you," Chrisoula says as we cross the bridge, "and after all these years, it binds me to you still."

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