[40] Talk to Each Other, Jennifer M. Phillips

I used to know this language,
words forming like black pearls in the elbows
of trumpet lilies.
Holding for one last instant
the rain-licked fingertips of willows,
drips slip and shatter
and pool among the roots
so eager for communication
from above.

The nursery door is locked.
Toys carrying my scent,
packed away
as though the upstairs vanished
from that first house,
the house of memory
and aspiration,
gone into a long silence.

The trout-fry rising in the pond
try a new grammar.
Small mouths open and close
on clotted air.
Wings, they say,
like angels
falling, then like manna.

Chickadees court,
and the hemlocks make accommodation
for all they hear.
I remember this affiliative stutter,
as between new friends
from different countries.

I try to speak up.
The inhabited world
breaks bread out of what is shared,
making itself understood,
eyes turning this way.

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