There are claspable shapes:
geese wind-shattered into feathered waterfalls;
plum-spotted leopards moulded
by swirling clusters of autumn leaves;
opal-scaled carp chiselled
by clamps of moonlight
suspended in a stagnant pool.
There are even superior shapes cast without
crystallising into tangible
accidents, like flashes of streaky landscapes
exchanged by empty planets too remote
to sense each other directly,
or two skylarks turning their heads
separated by hundreds of centuries.
However, these fleeting certainties
are not within my grasp:
I do catch a breathing slimy carp
in my algae-choked pond,
a leopard yawns at night on my roof
and skylarks call each other, but not beyond
my modest field.
And when I lay my hand on your naked hip
like a calm sloping mountain in violet dayspring mist,
I don't touch any planets or arches of heavenly gold,
I just firmly hold my time and drink it sip by sip,
and what is lost before being found is never missed.
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