You don’t understand, but I understand | Summer runs into a culvert | We take off our skins of lions, what | skin will we find underneath? | If things were different, maybe it would be | the skin of birds in flight | seen from above, through an airliner window? | In any case, the skins | never run out | always another below this one, the skin | of wild deer | gazing from the woods | over the fence | at tame deer | languidly grazing in the Royal park

I don’t understand, but you | say you understand | Water-levels drop, the rivers dwindle | gaping for melt or rain | Day discharges into night | sluggishly | For a while, we smash the bottles | holding genies prisoner | feel those stately djinn drift away | into the shapes of flocks | of large white birds | migrating across African skies | All the time | we take off skins | below our heels | the skins of lions, and we | peel those off, too | Stripping and stripping | and the rain | doesn’t come | Under the skin | of my eyelids and my lips | will you still find | when the rain comes, and the wild | deer have moved on | the skin of honey, ticking down in | buzzing drops | and beneath that | a skin of maples, a skin of flies?

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from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

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