Sowbelly and Moonlight

— Jerry Dyer

Life is Janus-faced,
all sowbelly and moonlight.

I don’t want too much,
but the right much: so rare.

My voice: like a horse
running in rip rap,
sparks from the hooves,
and a bell-like sound.

Always the same,
the feel of the stone
on my palms, the hill’s
canting steepness,
the inevitable
roll-down to the plain.
At the bottom of the slope,
the stone is fragrant
with the flowers it has crushed.

Should I trouble heaven
with a prayer?
Death, Naomi explains:
being unable to make a fist.

The wind: last night
it sounded like a train.
It delivered cirrus,
pale feathers touched with flame.


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