Tema Stauffer ,  Yellow House, Germantown, New York, 2017    (photograph)

Tema Stauffer, Yellow House, Germantown, New York, 2017 (photograph)

I was taught to name the constellations.
As if the stars were not name enough.

As if the girl I was then did not pack
crates of books to leave, in that season  

with its irrevocable music, the solitary   
buck she'd run with in fields and woods,

gathering peach blossoms for fireflies.
As if the fireflies were not the light itself,

or the pages they inflamed in the loft
of the old barn, dismantled by vines.

Tonight I did an inventory: antlers, hooves,
teeth. Seized the time of our loving

by the forelock and pinned it against the door.
Where was the wind's blank key, I begged it,

which would restore to us our names.
Something beautiful burned somewhere.

It awaited my return – while outside,
the too-small song I’d followed

was heard thrashing inside the river.


Hannah Lee Jones