for Hayden Carruth

Are there words
for what you cannot,
lying in this wilderness, express—
with her hands to love you

to the center of the bed,
the window with a cardinal
at the lopsided feeder, and
the weathercock that crows

in all weather
as you almost crow
to the harrowing horizon
and the day after when solace

will be what we share
in the vowels of thirty books
left us to understand
our time was not misunderstood—

like you who wrote
whether in or out of mind—
the raging beauty of human arms
and took refuge there

just as we plunge them now:
nocturnal, redwing clarinetist,
hard-nosed master of the certain,
untimely trill before dawn.

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