She startles in her stumbling path
through the sedge and the blonde grass,
where calyx bloat and crack
and dangling white bells bloom
within a wash of mordant burrs.
Tan and umber choke the wild yards
thinning weakly down to pavement.
It’s early. Finches wind their little clocks.
Gulls scatter the stars behind a hunch
of cloud. The sun clicks up with the hitch
and hiss of buses; the blue thrush of jetliners
dissolves wan streetlights, cradled
in the linden trees. The city ripens around
its stone. It splits a calm that had no root,
and I imagine her at the edge of the lot
outlined in dawn’s weak radiation.
That her silhouette motions back.
That she smiles within the dark, or not.
That early flowers awe below her nightdress,
threshed in sallow light. There’s hardly sense
in the mercury of this. Time stains its shape
on rooflines under the silk-thin dawn.
What can’t be trapped, can’t be made material,
no matter the strictures of wire and steel:
a dream in the wind’s drunken dance,
plashing wild asphalt with an image of eros,
dispersing in an hour’s rise and fall.
DANIEL EVANS PRITCHARD is a poet and essayist living in Boston. He is marketing and publicity director of Boston Review, publisher of The Critical Flame, and organizer of the bimonthly U35 Reading Series. His work has appeared in Little Star, The Quarterly Conversation, The Good Men Project, Idiom, and elsewhere.