Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New or Old?


You woke up
very early in the morning
for The Gorgeous Nothings.

There was a Girl Reading
in an entire library
of aunts reading
small girls.

You didn’t want
me to read her
when she was so young.

Perhaps she was
uncomposed
like a scrap of an envelope.

She was unselfconscious
at that age;
they all are,
and are cream paper.

She is a lithe sunrise
springing over the roof,
diminutive unless
she wears orange.

When she was
old enough
I slipped her
a scrap of an old
envelope.

She wrote something
on it—
something that made
subtlety exist
every day of the week.
I read her Mother Goose
until she owned it
and could repeat it on any day
that was gray.

Her grandmother
took the envelope
and held it over the stove
until it burned—
a bright flash
turned to ash.