and the word was

Terri Muus

1            light shimmering

           between curtains, mother’s
           salt, my

2            a single
           note and the symphony—
           swell of treble
                    into bronze,

           the lost sun-streaked
           hour, staccato-punched
                    sky by five.

3            smoke and no
                    name, smeared
           pencil on graphed
           paper, mouth strung
           with gray pearls, bulging pockets—

           secrets, dry
           taste of letter-less envelope
                    on “sweet sixteen.”

4            unzipped carbon
           nanotubes, the union
                    of atoms,
           the space after
                    exhale, light

           particles and waves
                    in ordered
           chaos of the universe
           by thirty-one.

5            Now—

                    you are
           ocean-side waves beating
           tilde of sand,

           gold tenderness.

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