In the beginning, each day was bright

as a new coin and fit for spending. Now?

Nothing is allowed to be exquisitely itself.


Even a kiss is a trotline heavy with hooks,

trawling up all kisses past.

Perhaps God isn’t omniscient, just old


enough all patterns are laid bare. Our lives

not preordained, just predictable:

how even empty rooms are now crowded


with my dead. Yet when I was

a pair of grass-greened knees, even the birds

seemed to ask, What do you want to be


when you grow up? As though transformation

were possible. But my metamorphosis

was the ordinary kind: that boy


into this man. Still, I hope

some mystery remains. May the grass

that will soon grow from me whisper


all the answers I wish I’d given: A warm temple

in a wintry place. A welcoming bed for those I love best.

A lake deep enough to hold everyone’s longing.