That flashlight you say I stole (but you had two !)—
I used it last night to read Rilke under cover
to the patter of rain and a clock ticking two.

It shone a dim, just-full-enough moon
on the baffling beauty that a lover of word and world
can make out of being inexorably alone.

I cried in the dark: Help me, please help me
and with clock now ticking three, maybe four
I slept and dreamt one word, no more and no less:

transmogrify |transˈmägrəˌfī; tranz-|
(I looked it up in the morning)
: to transform, esp. in a surprising or magical manner

And though it wasn’t Machado I’d read by your stolen light
apparently his Spanish bees are still making sweet honey
from old failures, in beehives of ancient longing.


© Heidi E. Fischbach, 2007.

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