First there was delight, delight in the windchimes,
delight in the snowshoe crabs alive on the beach
after so much battering—
even though we knew it was fleeting,
something felt otherwise, each crawling life
a torch still lit past the slim pine pitch
or draw of resin it was dipped in
at the beginning of the world.
Don’t say things vanish—
nothing has to vanish if someone tends
to a creature as if to a torch,
bundling reeds more tightly as each day passes,
soaking rags in sulfur and lime,
seeing each for what it is,
bare and lit in your dark night.