After Petrarch

I Sparse words, Bare branches; Scattered leaves, Dry season. I am someone Other than who I was My little sleep Contains a brief dream. Unknown to me One minnow Slips the net. A vision I had thought My own swims out To greet the wide-eyed, Wakeful world: There is no virtue Folly cannot overcome. II We followed In death’s footsteps I am lost In the black and white Of your eyes. You who have been Both inside and outside, Basilisk or swan, Peacock or phoenix, I will learn to love Like you do Bringing forth fire From snow; heat

From the deep cold Of water and ice. Death gives Such strength. I value gold and topaz Less than one touch Of your hand. III Dressed, not burdened, With humanity Her ship has turned To a better port. Stones and trees Move to her music. No lightning Ever comes to chide her; No wind, to make her bend. Colder than snow, paler, She holds my heart In her hands. Flames freeze; Ice smolders. She makes the river Flow uphill. Truth walks in darkness Beyond ancient cunning: Everything changes.

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