How We Burn

Life aches to fill us up and I mean
that the blueness of the sky penetrates

and shades the skin and veins of the hands
of someone in mourning.

I mean that cloistered red wing blackbirds
sing for us, not only the sun,

that when we dare to lift up our eyes,
we see the high clouds in their diffident

caress of heaven, a storm warning
without that is also within.

I strive to give voice to why it is
that we so love the dying ancient trees

that caress this robin’s egg dome
of atmosphere;

or that we breathe in and out, hunched
over the map of our own lives like mariners

dreaming by lamplight whose ships
fill with water.

Who will break the news to them?
We put our hands on the keys

as if we are at a grand piano,
reaching for an unnoticed, unscored

chord that no one knows of,
or we fling down silver lire

as if some augury lay there.
I trace my past to need and lack and think,

I’ve mastered singing, transcending,
all you can do; but still, the white mare

with immense dark eyes I put down in June
waits for me on the edge of the inner

emerald field. The way she looks back at me–
tulip ears up and listening, wide nostrils

scenting the air– says, you will never
be free of your love for this world.

copyright Jenne’ R. Andrews 2012