[from the Harvard Divinity Bulletin]
by Richie Hofmann
—from the leafy, walled-in courtyard beside the house,
where fountain-water trickled
from a river-god’s mouth
into the unseasonable heat of that afternoon, we watched
the heavy bees, clumsy in their flight, humming
against the bricks and orange tree blossoms.
Everywhere we walked, you would point out how the Japanese honeysuckle clings
to the walls and fences like mayflies.
Each star-shaped flower scattered its breath into fragrant burrs,
which the heavy, humid air held around us,
until, as if no longer able to hold,
all the aroma flushed away in the sky’s own sighing—