I want days a-wing with you, prodigies
feathered below the strong sun, and arrows
of light that dart the hide of miseries;
all of which flamingo love and sparrow
despair. I want to eagle you away
from exile, to falcon you in bowers
of permanent June, to linnet your days
in oceans of autumn and leaf showers.
When April begins to egret our eyes
and May time weariness swallows our hearts,
honor the chance that owls and swifts surprise,
that archers grief, cardinals end to start.
There's no demise here, only a sunrise.
Come kitten with me; Come lark, butterfly.
of those rag-garments named the universe
Though in your place I can't well imagine
this sequestered sphere buffeted, and blue,
by the whiplash tail of galaxies, tinned,
and tuned, by cadenzas of stars that coo
at baffled moon and stanchion tented earth,
I picture waif of words that lifts the hem
of yellow dress and pizzicato mirth
of fingers quivered in your diadem.
Swooning lubricities and laziness
of days cuddled and cudgeled in the ark
of brown blanketed escape from duress,
we court the horizon and woo the dark.
Of those rag-garments, I say pluck the thread.
Revel unraveled in this brumal bed.
I loved you, littlest one, most of all. Poor
misshapen thing, hanging on a stem's string,
dawdling in the wind,
recalling last spring.
When we first met, you were so immature,
all bud and blossom, no cares in the world,
coming on bright green, so lush and heart-shaped;
How could I resist the way your edge scraped
my bark and the breeze broke you into twirls?
Look at you as you're about to walk out
of autumn's door, wearing your yellow dress.
You're so fine, I'm bound to be depressed,
to wail down winter, redress frost with shouts.
Now, I'm a brittle rack of sticks who waits
for the flowers bequeathed by May's estate.
Dante Di Stefano's work has appeared most recently in Poetry, Quarter
After Eight, and The Hollins Critic.