As if there is nothing

cats' mew to rake embittered grief

silence shucked off the burning bush, tulip, azalea...

Enamel on the shrew's teeth clicking

into deeper silences than moon's used to.

Every turning leaf drops a secret:

an army in every moment—no surrender.

Shadow’s lip cocked half-open, startled

at dust's every mote, the unbearable lightness.

No rest tonight, defenses staring wide-eyed

into war—small battle after small battle.

Each engagement less and less,

every sun's horizon victory.

No win, situation unfolding.

Star's rise and fall mapped on stone.

No stone—cat, cricket, shrew...


James S. Proffitt