Cardinals at the feeder.
Rain in the leaves.

From deepest darkness to
The lesser I emerged with the words

I don’t believe

Immediately in my mouth.
I didn’t speak.

Yellow leaves,
Red berries.

Of my childhood strung
On a slender branch.
From what immensity did they

Emerge, what context,
What scene?

I tried
To read me.
Propped myself

Against the pillow.
Moved my lips.

If you bring it forth,
What is within you

Will save you.
What is not within you—

Hair on the pillow.
Voices in the leaves.

I asked in what

They said in you in you in you in you

I was capable
Of speaking truth. I had

The truth but
Nothing to put it in.

Rain in the leaves.
A company
Passing invisible.

Don’t ask why.

For twenty years I lived in the present.
Then, in a single night,
I became a shade.

Books, paintings
On the wall,
Words in my mouth but no

Memory, no need.
I listened

To the cardinals.
Happiness without reason.
Yellow leaves.