Contagious Fire

Oli Hazzard

as dawn
shadows soak 

			through the earth chasing 

the dip
	of their spool

		i have lain here hours
waiting for the rattling birds 	
				spilling on
tilting panes

 			to sink into sight

stars withdrew long ago

					 claiming the rights

of distance	
			my armpits offer 
no warmth for hands 
still cold
still clean
	   as ladles 

				in my palm 
the holly leaf rocks 

						its crown of cradles 

now the birds cry out
	 loosely swung in a net
		long still shafts of light 
			stand through the clouds
what came to itself 
with such ease

					 as though through years

it is here
it has begun
		a succession of small orders
	beyond its command
where now
	leaning into a brace of darkness

			the overflowing landscape

	is beyond completion
and leads 
	like anyone
with a nose 
	for trouble

to the sea
	bursting slowly 		on the sand
		wholly intact 

blue siren lights

				cup the remaining dark

	and mercury inches up its glass spine
after hours of lying down
	my eyes’ lithe channels
		flexing with the night’s

ragged drift
		lost sight of the task at hand
		all etiquette absconded
	lightning starting up
like the thirsty lurch
		from a dream
			and all these hours’
	frail distinctions
	an admirable effort
		on the part of man
to cut time’s long blue train
into beats
	in which to count himself
the trees’ clipped coils
		mount like mirrored breath
	form upon form upon
which cannot pass into recollection
	beyond the cinctured sheaves 

of rain
	is what
		i ask  

like some soft down 
	clung to every object

the strange register 
	of form upon form upon

sky squinted into heat and light
	and the trees’ quick and
	reined mimicry

suggests only the certainty 
	of a desperate collusion

			a host of unmoving dreams
		and their
		dumb articulations
		yes	ok
	we could walk here
			from creation to 
	surveying this ignescent cloth
with a soft-churning eye

	and await benediction
simply as an effect			of chance
	as the land gasped at the rain

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