Blue-grey flame beneath a crown of golden straw
and the horsehair held in Lippo's fingers leaps
the traces racing after her who is resting
so still in her eyelash-curved wave (folded

over itself) closed lid of myrrh-box purr
of the murmur whirr of well-oiled wheel
hum of milk train passing the jeweled
field at dawn (sound of river R)

and the lift of the wave (from Diana-moon)
like the green crest of a fiddlehead, or
an arc of spray from Fontegaia
copper spring uncoiling (moss-green

coin) a silvered nine (or silver mine)
a rain of pennies in the children's books
(uttering the sun) where the willows shake
their shade over the stream of early time

O my agate gate where I creak transfixed
in the wind out of ---- & (lipped by the curl
of your magnet smile) Where now is the whorl
of original spring? In the wood of my myrrh-

box the streaming grain of the stream
comes itinerant steeled in the hold &
buoyant floats the acacia toward the delta
doubling round the final bend, your salty palm fans

open to trace an almond there
(ancient flotation sign) Mississippi Miss. ms.
Papyrus unrolling from further south
toward the mouth lifted into gypsy (stolen) air

[note : 1st stanza refers to a small painting of Mary Magdalen (attributed to Lippo Memmi) in the RISD Museum, Providence.]

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