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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