Two Poems

Plate 345 Seaside Sparrow

I know that hope is the hardest love we carry.—Jane Hirshfield

What you want is the saltwash
of high tide, the breeze of the sea
pushing against your primaries,
words to one old prayer and bones
this light.

What you want is a firm stand
of hollow sea grass,
should you return.

What you want is to be sure
of what to do on a day like this
when the heart in your chest
wants to be fire given a chance
with wind.

You've Always Known

it is foolish
to love
a married man

but just this once, you say,
because he has lit
candles for you

because his arms, his chest,
because a few hours, a summer
night, the northern lights

because his sailboat
rides the soft
harbor swell and

what crime is there
in a slip of love—
What is, is,

and what crime in that,
in the compass-heart
pulled true

—Jeanie Tomasko, Middleton, WI