Edict

The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will.
                                   -- Czeslaw Milosz, "Ars Poetica?"

I used to smell the wet maples, the leathery
green primers, saturated with cursive drops
of cloudburst, a lesson in penmanship after every
cleansing rain and as that sated sensation

hovered one mid-afternoon between conscious
thought and oblivion an angel approached
barefoot on the windowsill and stood toes
dripping with sap like medicine. He

said the only way to meet them all
is to patch the hole through which the
mosquitoes enter and the only way to
block that entrance is to re-write the edict

that's been degraded by recent radioactive
leaks in Japan. He went on, get your energy
elsewhere, photosynthesis maybe. I
said, I’m a mystery to anyone on that coastline, but

would like to know them if there's time. Then we
broke off communication -- I from my end by preaching
a sermon and he from his end by converting
to Dadaism. Now nothing is ever really moist and

every tree's ambivalent about growth in a downpour
although many might interpret leaves as they fall.
King Cyrus issued the last legal declaration yet
there’s no use hearing it unless debris cooperates.

Scott Kinder-Pyle is a Presbyterian pastor in Spokane, Washington.

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