cloud fishing :: phillis levin

To fish from a cloud in the sky
You must find a comfortable spot,
Spend a day looking down
Patiently, clear-sighted.

Peer at your ceiling:
Where a light dangles, hook & line
Could be slipping through.

Under the hull of a boat
A fish will see things this way,

Looking up while swimming by — 

A wavering pole’s refraction
Catching its eye.

What will you catch?
With what sort of bait?
Take care or you’ll catch yourself,

A fish might say,
As inescapable skeins of shadow
Scatter a net
Over the face of the deep.

grace :: phillis levin

Someone across the room laughs so lightly
We hear the rustle of pines, the rattle
In a cone when a sparrow, alighting,
Leaves for a reason unsung in its singing,
And the air, stirred by startled breath, now
Emptied, surprises like another’s pain
We register without a smile or gesture,
Admitting it is there as our pupils
Dilate slightly, change gently pulling like
An undertow anemones answer
When waters whose whispers are lost in waves
Intimate worlds we will never enter.