When my animal breathes in
the great leaves from a golden explosion,
I see that he breathes in the good,
and what is fair.
His nose goes up, his nose goes down.
What gifts shall you and I command?
I watch his sweet body advance in leaves so full
and real, it can all look abstract, then retreat again
into something woodsy that is again imaginary,
his face bringing back something
more genuine, unquestionable, precise
His body shakes off the approaching cold
and he looks up at me as I dig deeper
into my body. I learn from his sincere conviction
and his earnestness.
His curiosity also makes him clumsy.
His sweet feet go barrelling along
the leafy, yellow path anyway.
He’s my little lion pattering in the blaze.
Uncovering, discovering, the season fastening,
unfastening, he stands. Across my
every misunderstanding, Theo understands.
Alive in what is possible, he is pleased in the great I am.
His tail talks to me as if a tree that is all first person,
his excited and thankful body tracing all the stories
I can uncover and befriend.
When I bend to him, I smell the color
of stems and branches and wings
let go on his skin.
I lift him up into my arms as I hug his hello
and his sharing of their signpost
of a victory with his. He is grateful
for the heartbeat we carry and my warmth.
Around the joy of kisses he gathers,
I can as much taste the stitches
Nature will sew and the seeds
of a stillness he can’t keep.
He offers it all to me,
he in his fairness
He is off again, ahead of my grounding.
Advancing. Retreating. Uncovering. Discovering.
And no matter where everything is in the season,
I can see the muscle of his life move
with a love that is easy with gravity,
just like the story in the leaves.
Is it possible for love to get in any other way?
It is a lot colder today, we both agree, yes.
A new peace wishes to arrive and cleanse.
The power lines of our love have grown well
over the years. Dots of snowflake
have mixed with hard spots of icy rain
early the yesterday morning,
as if to tell it all to get ready
for a longer winter.
We don’t mind
the going in.
Theo for the most part looks at it
as invitation to sniff and scrunch for leaves
and to watch his squirrel and gopher friends
He does this when he is sleeping,
Below the ground frost,
under the earth, in the belly
it is all soft, I know.
Photography by Marina Mashaal