Bounded

The breadth of one day bounded by water like in a spell.

Sweet breath of anise in the almost-cool morning,
dawn coming so early to wipe the spilled stars 
a startled buck jumping and kicking down the main road
the granite boulders jutting into and out of the cold water
are hungriest for the barest slice of light, holding it on their white skin,
still remembering the heat of the day before and long ages in the dark to make up for.

The trees are shyer, still part of night, as the bats flavor frantically, clicking in the air
and the ducks fly upriver, wingtips spreading circles after circles on the ink of the water.

The spreading light is the cracking of my rib cage
all my 4am woes forgotten in a slow relentless tide of color like the first morning.
Night comes late, hungry. Is it the same buck leaping sideways into the brush and hiding behind an oak, as if to say,
“Oh, a human! I mustn’t startle this strange and precious visitor.”
The streetlights all snap to life as though they all just had the same insight simultaneously.
The river is colder in the heat of the end of day.
Or I’m trying to take something from the water like substance and am given cold as a token to bring back.

This is the world, the bridges seem to be pointing out,
one straight as a school marm, the other full of cement arches
suspriciously the same color as the missing granite.
That other place of walls and presumed safety is something else.
And the seagulls with the folded-paper wings are the highest birds in the sky,
flying toward the sea a hundred miles away, bright eyes fixed on the ends of things.

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