in time of ill regard

If only love could be attained
by shuffling under a birdless sky
as the cafeteria tray of clouds
presses closer to the sidewalk
and the weeded quarter-acre
on which you’ve staked your claim,
hanging your only shingle.

If only one could mark years
on rice paper with edible ink,
discarding poisoned moments
and supping heartily on the rest.
Cloudward in home’s direction
pestilence falls away like sorrow--
If only love could be attained.