I didn’t have to grow into this longing,
or work too hard to glow
among the sinking and resurrecting shadows
underneath the rocking flowerbaskets
on the chapel porch. Every swan-neck and gloved hand bent
to fidget with and fine-tune my veil, as if beneath it
burned a single tenuous candleflame in a flooded cellar,
or crocus broken open in dead of winter.
All night, while you kept my ruched avalanche hitched up almost over my head,
a black dog five hands high prowled outside.
Not a literal omen, his sleek substance–
superlative, masculine, shadowy sign without meaning–
no, though this was what I’d called for.
Pilferer, rifler, filcher.
from Swallow: Poems by Miranda Field