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We make our bed ...

 

... on the edge of a field shouldered by low hills, blue with distance. A warm, grass-scented wind blows across the wide field shuffling her ringlets just as it once did. Earlier, we had forded a cold brook and sent our laughter downstream in bright yellow boats; the stones of the streambed, made round by eons of persistence, lay smooth and unyielding underfoot.

We had stumbled onto a place so fine, so lovely that the others we keep locked inside us stepped out to admire it, and without asking directions, they set off to find the 'horse meadow', the 'apple branch' where 'sleep comes dropping'.

The tall oaks rained a deep shade over us while we waited, their leaves ruffling lightly as if cicada-wings were fanning them. With low wispy breaths the oaks explained that

because the body is destined for ash, fire is its apogee, and as we spread out our light summer clothing into a makeshift bed, we know the others will be safe among the horses, under the apple branch and the afternoon sky

after we dress
her grass-blade
mints my mouth

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Gary LeBel, Haibun Today, 6:1 March 2011.

Quotations in italics are from Anne Carson's If not, winter: fragments of Sappho. Vintage: NY, 2002.

 

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