Tell Them Stories

I sat there staring at the words
As they swirled in the porchlight, mirrored in
The facets of an open door,
Open onto a darkened entry
At the foot of an unseen stair.

Words torn and scattered
And reconvened in light,
Like late afternoon summer sidewalks
When you glance up from the street
To see the air around you iridesce.

The air itself — Alight! Alive! — 
And your heart grows wings of wonder, when
One such speck of living light flies 
In your open eye or open mouth,
And the magic scatters,

A cloud of midges moving through
And past you and on into the light.
I couldn’t help but think 
Of your wide eyes — so supple, so serious
In their striving to see, to snare
These words before they’re smoke.

Your pupil a knot burning 
In a sea of white, blossoming forth 
In waves of heat and light. But you know
That all around us and inside us
Are clouds and faces. We know

The ground we walk on not. Yet
Still we walk. Still we sit as stories rock 
Our barks toward sleep.

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