All your tides and rhythms buoyant
like that water bird from a nearby bayou,
the lone gray heron you’re used to spotting
at night in your neighborhood streets,
when the season’s right,
bathed in yellow light. Is it possible
the bird is blue? The gray species has a shorter life,
and you’ve been telling me about those feathers
for a decade. A doppelgänger, perhaps,
in on the retreat within your
retirement ropes. The seasons that may not be
what they’ve been for us
answer their roll call in orbit. In my city we swap
eco for eros and toads come bubbling.
My lifespan doesn’t clarify my consciousness.
And my revolution is in hours.
Between a sunflower’s florets and the galaxy,
cellular and solar, I am outgrown.
Fady Joudah is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Tethered to Stars (2021) and Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (2018), both from Milkweed Editions. He has received the Griffin International Poetry Prize and is a Guggenheim fellow in poetry. (updated 10/2021)