Most of what matters to me

can be touched, but must be left

untouched, the bell hunched

over its silence until the moment

of telling. Saint Augustine said

when he prayed, even the straw

beneath his knees shouted to

distract him. Today is the day

of the small-eared rabbit lying

on her side, at ease near me.

I don't believe animals can tell

who they don't need to be afraid of,

though if I had that gift, I would have

tipped myself like brimmed-over wine

into his arms anyway. The ducks

in front of me now sway in their

one-legged sleep like dreaming trees.

What would it feel like to stroke

a mallard's purple wingflash?

Every moment in this dulling light

at the edge of a lake brings

a harvest of desires. What tames

these ducks? Occasional food,

but they came to me a second time

after not receiving food. Not

trust, not stupidity, but a habit

of patience and a long wanting.

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