I have lost patience again
in the moments before bedtime
by your asking me a tenth time
about when the rain

is forecast during the night
because you have the fans
positioned in the window wells
to suck out the sultry air

and you would need to remove them
so they wouldn’t get wet
and become a hazard.
But momentarily, I see

the first fireflies blinking
throughout the air in the backyard
and along the tree break,
spreading the immediacy

of their beneficence
that assuages and heals even
the knottiest interactions,
the most obvious shortfalls

or lack of heart, the unforgiving
leg cramp that begins to ease
constricted muscles
so that the pain is finally released;

and as the air fills with the blinking
of fireflies, I take your hand
after you tell me that you can’t
remember anything anymore.

Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2011 Crab Orchard Open Poetry Competition, and A Bird Who Seems to Know Me: Poems Regarding Birds and Nature, winner of the 2018 Ex Ophidia Poetry Prize.