by Liz Rosenberg
The summer night is radiantly cool. You’d have liked it.
You’d have loved the chili-pepper of the rose,
daisies at the zoo, the color of a shell’s curved roseate innards,
the orangey scarlet ibis picking his lit way along the wood-chip path
and penguins flittering through the pond like bats.
“Flying is a kind of swimming,” someone wrote;
but swimming is a kind of flying, too,
and you were a mighty swimmer, but
you hold so still where you lie nailed to the ground,
your eyes up against the pine, your beautiful jaw uptilted
like a man who can’t get enough of gazing at the stars
spangled across the July sky,
so that he shuts his lids and will not open them again.