James R. Whitley

Recall, again,
those first promising moments:
some smoky drama
smoldering in her eyes,
something more than a hush
blanketing the restless city, and—
if it was sincerely wrought, artless—
trembling lips and fingers touching
trembling lips and fingers.
O worn palimpsest,
brash stricken idolater,
let it go.

Those cherished mornings,
the sweet invitation of
buttermilk pancakes rousing you,
just because.
And every evening like
a golden overture to some
glorious opera, the entire world
womb-like, fresh-squeezed.
Now: some barrier,
like a restrictive caul, removed,
and something like a burka lifted off
to let more of the waiting light in,
Now step forward
into the verdant field,
into the day that is, once again,
your day.

Now breathe.