(Simon Morris/Flickr)

What did I find in love’s high offices,
the lives of saints, the words priests drilled in me?

I’ve found more love in parlance of the stones
as they ring one another’s melodies
mornings I’m jogging them, the river road.

Antiphonal, that’s what I’d call this luck
I’ve drawn out of the music of least things,

the lesser burden, the least kind of weight:
first I found a rat skin in the sewer grate,
then droppings of the sparrows shone, turned gold.

What do you think of my perplexities,
Constant Reader, you whom I call up

out of the stones, you who have walked with me
down streets we haven’t even found names for yet
and never will, maybe—and will we care?

You’re at the window as I tell you this,
you’re watching rain, you are the rain itself.

New Orleans rain, sun-shot, rain Midas gold.

Published in the May 2021 issue: View Contents

Peter Cooley is Professor Emeritus of English and Director of Creative Writing at Tulane University where he taught from 1975 to 2018. His eleventh book of poetry, The One Certain Thing, was published by Carnegie Mellon in February. He is poetry editor of Christianity and Literature and was Louisiana Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017.

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