In all modesty you moved the painted fern nearer. You trusted the work, trusted the nature of the desire. It wasn’t ego. Afternoons were haze and walking back and forth. Perhaps the veronica had been precious, foolish so that the yard mocked, the back corner quickly took itself back. There’d be no keeping up. You were, you learned, a minute note, as with conviction—with jewelweed and with sumac—the yard proved in every membrane its vast thesis.
Warm, limp disappointment one then another we lay at each other’s feet
The house stands erect. Our slick livers grow back in order to be pecked out.
My devoted hen preens. I give her a worm— she gives me an egg, a cake.
A. V. Christie’s two volumes of poetry are Nine Skies (1997), which won the National Poetry Series, and The Housing (2005), which won the McGovern Prize. Her work has appeared in AGNI, Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Poetry Northwest, and the Iowa Review. Her chapbook The Wonders is forthcoming in 2013 from Keystone Press.