Phases

Watching the garden winter under the moon,
we think of the brown animals
under the earth. Or the bulbs
of the jonquils frozen there
with their orange eyes clenched in coils.
White and silent night, the air cold as iron
and the lake like an old woman under a blanket.
We gave your grandma marijuana tea
to lull the cancer clenched in her like fists.

Our legs are weak after making love
but we walk across the solid lake.
We're wrapped in the husk of a Bay blanket,
the air smells like wool and our heat
billows around us, animal. The lake
clicks as we walk, a photograph
curling up at the edges. Far under
hibernating fish drift in the current,
their bodies curving back and forth,
while above them the moon
glows on the snowless patches--
a white heart expanding under the ice.
And in our blanket, our bodies
hold the shapes of the people
whose cells we slept in for generations.

by Michael Redhill

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