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One Leaf, Two Leaves

The faintest sound—

the fingertip of a leaf touching

the windowpane, or a tiny

spring trickling over pebbles,

or droplets of light rain

on the forehead of my childhood . . .

The lightest caress—

bare feet in summer on a soft dirt path,

a hand that attempts for the first time

desire’s touch,

or the clean darkness lying light

as a bedsheet over one’s sleepless self. . .

A nameless fervor within me

so often doesn’t seem to be

mine yet is me.

Nearly everything near or far

that reaches toward me soothes

me and wounds me. You—

your presence, even though it’s

not my life, is my life.

The way two unnoticed leaves can be

proof of the world’s breath.

Luis Cernuda (1931)

from RenditionsFind more by Reginald Gibbons at the library

Copyright © 2021 Reginald Gibbons
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Poems Reginald Gibbons

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