Mice. Specifically a mouse
eating a donut. Then more childhood
accidents. The realization of bones,
the penetrable skin of frogs and milk.
God made sense for a few minutes.
But the bees made more.
Their fragile, complicated dancing
reminded us of love,
which we thought of as constant,
the sure warm place under a tongue,
but it wasn’t. We were over
and over kicked out of that wilderness.
Grass was a sleeping giant,
and the birds always leaving,
sometimes stopped to cheer
down on their way to getting lost
in the mirrors of buildings.
How the world distracted us, too,
with constant offers.
Occasionally came back
to the mouse, not wild, not tame,
domestic as a potholder.
There was nothing to worry about;
everything terrible had already happened
to other people. God tried to make
explanations, but it was like trying
to read the bees. All the while
the unfinished business of discovery,
fingertips perched on their tiny platforms
each print pressed flat as a moth on glass.
The sense of loss when we missed the soft pleasure
of erasers. So we made artifacts more permanent
than rocks and threw them
away and away. Children were born,
each with a twiggy nest of questions
chirping inside her. They palmed the perfect heft
of apples and pictured their own bright hearts
bruising. We couldn’t imagine
being able to love them enough,
so we placed lenses over our eyes