5. Detail of 4.
(detail of Musicians riding on an elephant, 8th cent.)
Now in the dark of the tiger’s stripes
The words are full of mouths when will they close
Summer is inches away
Breathing against the glass.
The praying mantises have left the peony leaves
For the untrimmed plants by the porch
One brown mantis remains like a recluse
Behind him the sky pulls up the ground
The mail truck is tipped over the library tilts
Like one walking home from a bar
But inside the musician’s house next door
The plates hold their breath on the table
Still as a magician’s trick while afternoon
Striped shadows stalk the heart pine floors.