... I eat an artichoke in front
of the Charles Street Laundromat
and watch the clouds bloom
into white flowers out of
the building across the way.
The bright air moves on my face
like the touch of someone who loves me.
Far overhead a dart-shaped plane softens
through membranes of vacancy. A ship,
riding the bright glissade of the Hudson, slips
past the end of the street. Colette's vagabond
says the sun belongs to the lizard
that warms in its light. I own these moments
when my skin like a drumhead stretches on the frame
of my bones, then swells, a bellows filled
with sacred breath seared by this flame,
"On a Perfect Day" by Jane Gentry, from A Garden in Kentucky. © Louisiana State University Press, 1995.
Art credit: "The tall ship Cisne Branco (Brazil) sails past Lower Manhattan" (May 23, 2012), photograph by Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal (originally color).