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Drea Art
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The Gardens
By Mary Oliver

Moon rose
full and without
compromise through the good
garden of leaves,
here and there
stars rode in flickering
slicks of water
and for certain
the burly trees
hunched toward each other,
their dark mantles
like the fur of animals
touching. It was
summer on earth
so the prayer
I whispered was to no god
but another creature like me.

Where are you?

The wind stood still.
Lightning flung
its intermittent flares;
in the orchard
something wandered
among the windfalls,
licking the skins,
nuzzling the tunnels,
the pockets of seeds.

Where are you? I called
and hurried out
over the silky sea
of the night, across
the good garden of branches,
leaves, water, down
into the garden
of fire.

This skin you wear so neatly,
in which you settle
so brightly on the summer grass, how
shall I know it?
You gleam as you lie back
breathing like something
taken from water,
a sea creature, except
for your two human legs
which tremble
and open
into the dark country
I keep dreaming of. How
shall I touch you
unless it is
everywhere?
I begin
here and there,
finding you,
the heart within you,
and the animal,
and the voice.
I ask
over and over
for your whereabouts,
trekking wherever you take me,
the boughs of your body
leading deeper into the trees,
over the white fields,
the rivers of bone,
the shouting,
the answering, the rousing
great run toward the interior,
the unseen, the unknowable
center.

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