for my wife, Carol
To strangers and to moths gathering around fire
my common heart is opening.
In every rounded corner of the world there is a laughter
I can hear.
There is a joy I share with falling leaves and sparrows.
Inside his prison cell, the condemned man is awake,
overcome with joy.
His floor is worn smooth with solitary dancing.
The sand bags packed around his eyes are there to stop the river overflowing.
Can you hear church bells ringing in the palms of his hands?
There is happy static jumping inside the blood
and across his rib cage, waving pastures, fireflies humming!
The pain that comes with love is taken down into the body,
locked in cells designed to open.
That pain is free to go now!
Born naked into fire? That pain is forgotten!
The pain of Earth confined in solitary space,
all that is over now!
From here I see a billion suns clustered as her crown.
Some like to take the shape of planetary nebulae falling past the world
as flaming dust.
I like to follow the blood, returning to the heart.
Every moment I am kneeling with an ear against my prison wall
and the beating heart I listen for is yours.