The Key

— Jerry Dyer

                           — For Naomi Ginsberg

The key is in the window,
Naomi says. What looks like
the sun going down is the earth, spinning.

But the sun never does set,
I say, on the empire of the cats,
as far as birds are concerned.
And observe the sea lit up
by the moon: oh, it’s a mirror, sure,
that spans all the seams of Pangaea,
yet cannot choose but follow that lunar face.
So for the sea, no calm, no dawn
of freedom or night unbound.

Time is the grace of space, Naomi replies;
each flower a moment of color,
on the bough or standing in a vase.

My brush, I say, drips scarlet
or blue, but for all that brilliance,
on my palette so many colors, drying out.

The key, Naomi repeats, is in the window,
the key is in the sunlight in the window,
swelling the house with its plenty.
Why, then, do you chide your eyes?
They can hold in their depths the ocean, whole,
and all the constellations in the sky.

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