For a time I lived in a house with a meadow
and small woods around it. It was summer, the light
changing the meadow over the long day,
as though to illustrate the phases of consciousness:
the gold of morning, the stricken green at noon,
the shadows saturated by coolness
in the evening. Butterflies, like small yellow utility
flags, crossed the light. And the sounds
of insects and birds, little strings of notes
on staves. Deer appeared, disclosing this fact:
if you don’t have hands you use your mouth.
Like clockwork, two kept coming back each morning
to the same spots, as though the grass they ate
the day before had sprung back overnight.
They were deer. Because I was not sick or in need,
they were only deer. Behind the glass
of the house, I must have been
a small distortion in the reflection they saw there,
a small motion in the surface. In the woods
were wild roses with pink edges, going white
into their centers. Under the large trees,
the ferns were a dense singularity, the span of each
frond a kind of fractal logic. I saw things
mostly as they were, which meant a kind of health.
The nights were dark, as though the house was far
inland, in the marrow of geography.
But just beyond the house and the meadow
was the ocean, which you could hear if you listened.