I offer my perfection, severed and apart,
the swan’s glorious neck, white, silent.
Like feather laid on feather, I build
this place, temple to my own frail god.
No one comes or goes, yet how the halls
are filled with tails of sashes slipping
into doorways. I say silence, but listen.
There is a windchime’s bright refrain,
water over stone, the wind’s desire to cease.
Peonies sugar the air. The terrazzo hoards
the day’s heat. I preen and practice
before the fountain’s pool. I am a wing
splayed and honored, without purpose.
Even my beauty is incomplete. Here
I am, disjointed, dancing, a little hen
hanging chandeliers inside her coop.