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One starts. The still heat is a blown curtain.
The curtain wavers then—now two of them—
and another from beyond the blue agave.
Soon the whistling, wheet-eet-eet, the many,
so many, tree frogs “no bigger than thumbprints,”
coqui eleutherodactylus, the common coqui,
which we’ve never seen but in books, not once.
Now the purring, the rolling coo of
the mourning-dove-song of the island toads
among the hundred frogs, and crickets, gryllidae,
in late day rising salt background waves,
as, in the bay, the small squall we didn’t see
at first is a gray-bellied cloud in the still
yet azure twilight sky, and the container ship
pulls on through the sheath of mist—
a distant bell among the white cedars.
Can the ending of things ever be heard?
So slowly it crawls with the gross weight
of all our needs, our goods, our ghosts.
Such little things we are, and so much noise.
David Baker’s forthcoming collection, Swift: New and Selected Poems, will appear in spring of 2019 from W. W. Norton. He is poetry editor of The Kenyon Review and teaches at Denison University in Granville, Ohio
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