Poetry 2013 / Volume 44

Perennial Garden Stitch Assist, High Resolution — Nylah Lyman

I spy on the unmanned,
barbershop-striped lighthouse
for hours at a time; also,
the fishermen’s wharf,
with its barnacled fleet,
hulls bobbing like paint pots,
tinting the waves duckling-
yellow, star-gazer red.
I never tire of our colorful rivalry.

I’m an early-riser,
purposeful as the squat,
disused fortress on the horizon,
or the sharp-nosed terrier who tows a rumpled boy at the other end
of a rhinestone leash.
Like the dog, I prefer to
inhale the morning unfiltered

I test borders, rush gates,
flush glistening life from shadows.
I tilt, second by second,
toward chaos, ply moonstruck
passerby with a honeyed tongue
and crushed lavender delights.
Loyal only to light and air,
I crave wild street dancing,
carnation revolution.
I’m all about the show,
but a tricky god
lies in the hidden details.
Look twice: That crimson stitch
at the center of the poppy?

Not a flaw, but a port of entry.
And the gully hovering in
the left-hand corner?
A speckled cloud raining seed
out of a clear blue sky.

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