To weep unbidden, to wake at night in order to weep, to wait for the whisker on the face of the clock to twitch again, moving the dumb day forward— is this merely practice? Some believe in heaven, some in rest. We’ll float, you said. Afterward we’ll float between two worlds— five bronze beetles stacked like spoons in one peony blossom, drugged by lust: if I came back as a bird I’d remember that— until everyone we love is safe is what you said.
"Practice", from Messenger: New and Selected Poems by Ellen Bryant Voigt. Copyright © 2002 by Ellen Bryant Voigt. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.