The dead announce themselves. They are here. They orbit the absence of my figure in the mirror. And visible, I approach you, among them, letting my voice pull you toward dawn. Fragrance of butcher’s broom climbs backward up memory’s fresh leaves of a scrub oak, as if water pools the other side of this reflection. You accompany the movement of sun. Though you are out now among the hyacinth-moths, a flicker of late embers between earth’s symmetry of shade and song. I have carried you in dream. And I dream of you awake in your aloneness. I bow toward stasis, night slackens.

[At The Threshold Between The Burning And Unlit]

by Maureen Alsop

But I sing. I say therefore. I say at the center of thee is either a child-flame or child-angels. I say it is thy soul. Shapeless, subtle. I say paper bag and I take it. I take the crumpled pages that I love from the book of love and I must love them again and again. For it is snowing and I bid the snow to sing, but it will not. And I worship the voice of the snow for its silence. Still, I have not learned how not to love, though I have undertaken thy numerous lessons. And I wrap my bottle in a paper bag like a lamp. What I love greater than light. The thought of light. Glowing phrases of a nightingale reincarnate the sum of a river. I lurk in the drink. And I think of the torn silk. The subtleness of my undergarments as I sit on a bench. And I think how I am saved. Saved from the snow in which you are passing. Which passes over you who are deep within the pages of the ice-story. Aye, you cannot hear me. For you plug thy self-made fingers into thy self-made ears. Outside the newly fresh. We are right, we who ask for the singing. We who can’t ask. We who can’t sing. We are glorious in our belief. We believe in the story of asking. Snow under thy wing. Snow upon thy unseen sparrow. We believe flowers bottle themselves into tiny startled blossoms. We unfold paper from thy bread.