Here is the fossil as a perfume. Here is a bone
picked clean and whittled into a tiny tall ship.
Here are magicians teaching secrets
to contortionists. Here is colored glass on fire.
Here is love broken into vowels and a shrug.
Here is scripture forged into the memory of water.
Here are rosettes, exposed wiring, teasings onto the brink.
Here is the full vista of an hour, and the sun.
Megan Harlan is the author of Mapmaking (BkMk Press, 2010), winner of the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Crazyhorse, AGNI, The New York Times, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She lives and works in Berkeley, California. (updated 4/2017)