Poets in a circle read carefully, self-consciously,
one after another as the hot June wind
blows through windows
and green leaves just outside whisper
secrets we cannot know.
Words of love, gunshots and loss,
apples in copper tubs and little girls in pink,
a ring of guilt, a soldier dead so long
and long distance romance,
the stench of a feedlot. Words flutter and drift,
shimmer and disappear in late afternoon heat
while inextricably mixed
with voices, leaves, and wind,
seventeen years in the making.