This bowl must have been hanging in its tree
above the cars and parking meters, above men
wrapped like pods and sleeping in doorways,
above the coffee cup lids, newsprint cubism, and
the quintillion cigarette remnants of sidewalk still life.
And now it’s underfoot, a sudden flash on wet pavement,
its woven twig wreath exploded out, but
still holding its circle, like some ring nebula
in a false-color photo of the stars.
This is not the universe as it is.
So here’s an ignorance corrected into a kind of grief.
Its curve has spread, its center has opened
to cradle nothing, but two (or is it three?) ivory shells,
now shattered in the way all ruin is final and uncertain,
the yolks a perverse sun painted on the rained-on street.
And these men whose faces I never see sleep on as I pass,
and dream in ways the rest of us do,
of colors we forget could be the sun,
of the place beyond maps and cities, invisible lines,
where birds still follow their ancient path.