Maybe it's the time I spend in high school classrooms
with the desperate loveliness
of all the young, the girls especially,
their damp, curled morning hair,
lips glossy and dark as rained-on plums.
I remember, at that age, dressing
to be visible,
penciling my eyes dark as a mockingbird's.
Everything was black, my nails, the velvet
choker looped around my neck,
and I made love like someone given
one day left to love, and lost, and blind
in the body's forest,
all that somersaulting thunder . . .
In time, a place transforms itself
through the quiet light of being seen.
Now the green evenings push through eucalyptus
branches, the trees shed their perfumed skins,
the weeks pass into months, scarcely
and everywhere the baby birds
still try to eat the universe,
all need, all stretched mouth like a skull,
saying here, now: this time, this place.