I acknowledge my status as a stranger:   
Inappropriate clothes, odd habits   
Out of sync with wasp and wren.   
I admit I don’t know how   
To sit still or move without purpose.   
I prefer books to moonlight, statuary to trees.   

But this lawn has been leveled for looking,   
So I kick off my sandals and walk its cool green.   
Who claims we’re mere muscle and fluids?   
My feet are the primitives here.   
As for the rest—ah, the air now   
Is a tonic of absence, bearing nothing   
But news of a breeze.

  • Rita Dove, "Reverie in Open Air" from American Smooth. Copyright © 2004 by Rita Dove. Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc..

  • Source: Poetry (Poetry Foundation, 2003)

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