To the Circle
His lungs pump fluid heavily, each breath
torn hard from flatness. Lay him down
on cloth and wood. Insert a hollow reed
into each nostril for his subtler air.
Let crickets chirrup softly in his ear.
Beaker by beaker, drain his body's liquids.
Measure by measure, charge his firkin full.
Ply foxglove to contract his loosening heart.
His face once owned the light, a sun-disc risen
that now wilts grey beneath his longest night.
His hand maintained the right, but now his fingers
fail and slip; his gravity unravels.
Float him down the river to the circle
to dream his gathered days as weathered stone.

Paul Stevens

If you have any comments on this poem, Paul Stevens would be pleased to hear from you.

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