Images Are Things Imagined

by Joanna Gardner

A coyote calls from the juniper's shade
or is that you, trickster man? Your dappled

golden coat, your hands fanning
into hawk's wings. We dip our bread

in the same bowl, drink wine
from one cup — the red tang of remembered

sex, the leading scent of that
to come. Warning, said the church's sign,

do not enter the sanctuary.
Regardless, cherry blossoms and their pollen

wait inside the swelling buds,
the way love rests within a sleeping

body and when it wakes, unfurls,
returns, crosses the skin and ventures forth.

Joanna Gardner lives in upstate New York and is an assistant fiction editor at the journal Many Mountains Moving. Her poems and stories have appeared in Drops of Crimson, Halfway Down the Stairs, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, and others, accessible at her website. The word "cherry" makes her think of Basho and his haiku and how he wandered through the wilds of pre-industrial Japan.

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