A cactus sits on my windowsill
beyond my understanding—green, thorny
and simple to see. Today I am not a victim
of knee-jerk realism. The sound
of children playing outside helps me hear
my way through sunlight. Dogs bark
in the distance. All the light that breaks
through the clouds tethers to the trees
in my upcast eyes. When I step outside
barefoot there is no one to remember
or know, no concern to match my leisurely
stroll down the sidewalk. I am not an object.
I am a pattern of laughter woven into spring
and summer, born of the wind and the passing
song of a car stereo. Everyone comes
and goes this way, rippling out from a spiny
center. I bend the limbs of the crepe myrtle,
slipping bark between my fingers.
My neighbors make their regular stops,
eat dinner, while mountains wear down to sand.