Here is the letter I wanted to write, the one
that shows me succumbing to the light’s blandishments

like a Vermeer housewife, my silk skirts swollen
as mariposa tulips, my complexion milky.

I collect fine words the way others collect birds’ eggs:
for kestrels’ I have roseapple; for wrens’ pearlwort.

Were it not that my natural disposition is hurried,
you’d have me convinced the most beautiful word in the language

is haemostasis, which means the stopping of clocks,
the scientific observation of what ticks on in an interval

during which I am detained by shadows, those details
(again) you’d have me accrue: the copper moth’s clownish flight

in my yard, how the sweet pea tethers itself to those
scalene strings I’ve pinned to the wall. Each day at noon

I drive another nail in to mark the day’s high-water moment,
the sun’s clumsy arabesque in that makeshift analemma

I’ve sketched on the floor: your regard’s incalculable angle.