Lauren Beebe
In the Careful Glow

with the last thin well-wishes of the sun
our eyes are glazed and our mouths are wet
in anticipation of fruitful boughs
and the satin-soft earth keeping the warmth of day

all the beasts named in this fenceless paradise, save one:
the dark creature coiled in leafy ideas,
tight as a tourniquet around its nest of cool knowledge

so, inviting it into our arms, we ask of its skin
"What is your name?" and ask of its whispers,
"What is your purpose?" but it slips away like a flower's face
through the night's frozen teeth

we know with each day the plentiful gifts of this love are gathering dust,
are in need of repair, and are groaning of our misuse and neglect,
but we are running barefoot through this shallow dream

and now that the fire we lit to protect us
from the darkening world has died down to a glow
we are careful to be silent

so as not to disturb the flock of leaves in their roosts,
the sighing pack of stones huddled together for warmth,
or wake the slowly rocking herd of hills
all slumbering under the same roof of stars