The morning is full of storm
in the heart of summer.
Pablo Neruda

morning breaks & wildflowers – butterfly weed
& goldenrod & paintbrush & bloodroot – rejoice
as though forever is evanescence/ just a tug
a pull away our day comes
muscular beside such pinkish splendor: bystanders
our young unblemished

backsides/ a blush tight thigh           carrying
all the markings of time precedently/ same
as Mr. Collier’s letter rack illusions & preoccupations
portraiture in metaphoric
vanitas – collected notepads defunct almanacs
a dangling pocket watch given me years
ago by your father – as overcast memento

mori in surfaces thick to hand & not quite
so glossy framed: a skeleton key/ a tortoise shell
comb – not real things of course       but imitations
– oil on canvas renderings the why of what’s
so easily made out in life
                    I never quite
          * touch      *stroke      *smooth *

as illusion: what I arrived thinking & left
regretting         but returning to my point/ to howl
chill/ ricochet/ hailstones of a prairie springtime
pummeling my aluminum camper roof at the KOA waking
well beyond summer in another
kind of bruising/ shaking all our own
banging back & forth       in the thick
             between empathy      & insight

Mara Adamitz Scrupe is a visual artist, filmmaker, and writer. She has authored seven award-winning poetry collections, her work has been published in international literary journals, and she has won or been shortlisted for many visual art and literary prizes, fellowships, and awards.