Candor--my Preceptor--is the only wile*

 

there are ancients in the soil

they wore their hairs more than two ways

 

in the depths they are not separate from the soil

I mean springing forth—I mean they have always been

 

as an orchid, as moss

as your spirit living inside one face and the next

 

there are two ways to listen to the song

Angel from Montgomery

 

what it does to hear Prine sing this one—

a yellow light gathers, halo in my ear

 

he is an old woman

named after his mother

 

I am waiting without wile

for the moment I am certain I can withdraw from woman

 

for the duration of a song

for as long as I live with this face

 

for a reason other than misogyny living inside

give me one thing that I can hold onto

 

candor of my flesh-soil

that I am one of them

 

*Emily Dickinson, 1876