a note left for her on a cool morning in late spring by James Owens

i have walked out alone into the world
first light is a very old hammer
and mist a very old bell
that shimmers and rings
above water on stones
and through the branches of memory
you and i are like young monks

still naïve in the hard world

feeling for the borders of things


i will turn back to you soon
will pray the prayer

of my mouth on your mouth


James Owens’s most recent collection of poems is Mortalia (FutureCycle Press, 2015).. His poems, stories, and translations appear widely in literary journals, including publications in The Fourth River, Kestrel, Tule Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Southword. He earned an MFA at the University of Alabama and lives in Indiana and northern Ontario.