Told

The air lay soffly on the green fur
of the almond, it was April

and I said, I begin again
but my hands burned in the damp earth

the light ran between my fingers
a black light like no other

this was not home, the linnet
settling on the oleander

the green pod swelling
the leaf slowly untwisting

the slashed egg fallen from the nest
the tongue of grass tasting

I was being told by a pulse slowing
in the eyes

the dove mourning in shadow
a nerve waking in the groin

the distant hills
turning their white heads away

told by the clouds assembling
in the trees, told by the blooming

of a black mouth beneath the rose
the worm sobbing, the dust

settling on my eyelid, told
by salt, by water, told and told.

by Philip Levine

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