Clouds, come down to sleep in the treetops—
if you’ve seen the pines’ wide boughs
cradle the snow, even from a distance,
you know they can hold you. Or float
yourself into a roofless, falling-down barn
and lie in the moldering hay. So what
if the crows panic at the fallen sky, at the erased
horizon? They’re suspicious, easily startled.
Let them blanket the ground, barking.
Let them spook the horses. The horses
will settle in the amnesia of darkness.
Clouds, come down. The end will be no
nearer than when you kept your distance—
nothing will keep you here. When you’re ready
to rise again, you will. I can almost hear you
considering. If you want to lay your whiteness
in the field, if you want to steep in the lake
where you’ve watched your slow reflection cross,
come down. It will be like trying on glasses
for the first time. See, the hills aren’t one
unbroken reach of green but pointillist,
millions of leaves—spades, spears, hands.
Clouds, have you seen me? I’ve cut my hair.
I have a new son. My boy mouths everything,
and he ’d mouth you. Come be a cold discovery
dissolving on his tongue. Let me see you
up close, no longer godlike, not Constable’s,
but sweet and slack as any face in sleep,
a clean page anyone could write on.