Motive

for Chris


I'm a penny fallen from heaven's
corner pocket, anybody's overcoat, pick me up
and I'll bring you all kinds of luck. I'm a fence
burning down, love locked in a box, I'm a map

of hand-me-down tomorrows, the last
but one, or anywhere you never wanted
to go, but now. I'm a clock without a face,
I'm blind like time, so lead me on: wear me

on your wrist and I'll tell you things
you might not know, secrets spilled
like a rain forecast. I'm a cup you can
drink me from, cut glass and lucid

distortion, I'm solid water shattering
in hand, or daylight on a midnight
lake. Remains is what remains
of this, ambiguous number and tense

as any departure, all impossibility collected
for your sake. Greenhouse, little summer
under winter's latinate lattice of stars,
early or old snow, you're the reason

inside things, sheer likelihood: sense of speed
in the always almost here, the whitedark justice of us.

by Reginald Shepherd

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