The pool shifts comfortably
under its own weight,
an incompressible blue gem

touched now and then
by a quiver like that seen
racing through muscles at rest,

above the raddled filament
and stretched medallion
of morning sun,

and beyond, cloud shadows play
across the Mugello Valley,
while swallow after swallow

veers in to mar the calm
meniscus (though it heals),
as if the element of air

should take and bear
something far into morning,
while swallows stall

and drop, in their drinking,
gold at the throat,
then flee with lashings of

pure light, and each so rapid,
in the near-perfect silence,
that it is as I read once

on the wall by an ancient statue
of a girl dressed as Diana,
The gown lisps off her shoulder:

the swallows lisp at the water.

Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

Karl Kirchwey is a professor of English and creative writing at Boston University. He is the author of seven books and editor of two anthologies, including, most recently, Poems of Healing.


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