I was alive while the nations killed the earth.

Love grew thin on my tongue.

Mostly I kept to my own small life.

Not that I didn’t care, but

what could I do, when greed and

pride gnashed at the flesh of the world?


Quince blossoms made it through the freeze,

rose-pink on thorny branches,

such a pleasure, a comfort, and cardinals warbling

under the blanket of evening sky— Then a skein, a

V of geese crying southward overhead, lit up

where the sun gilded their bellies. What matter,

I thought sometimes, if we X each other out,

the human race, we don’t deserve this beauty.