for Vanessa

She’s brainy loving comic,
a worker in the old style,
an inch by inch adventurer.
We’d spent our day at the museum
she hadn’t been to since a child:
the hand-turned wave machine and
fish cruising an encrusted pile, all shellacked,
jogged her memory. We found we love
the monarch story— long migrations
with six generations along the way;
the mounted animals in perfect pastel chambers
better than the zoo;
the nest hall with tiny palest eggs.
I buy a bird chirp sounder she wants me to.

Along the coast the sun blazes fire
beyond vulgar to extreme;
little flecks of pink reality
float off in green hyperspace—
you get lost in it,
rapture of the deep upside down.
I tell her about the rare green ray,
the little pop of light I saw once
just as the sun sets,
tail end of a rainbow
from light fanning through prismatic air.
And we see it, just then, damn it, we see it.

From Bonfire and Dreams