Monuments (for Mary Oliver)

The sky glowing
mother of all pearl
over a still-brown city
at Mary Oliver’s sundown
reminds me
that the softness
of my animal-body
belies its core strength

There was that fever after all
and chills
knives and heartbreak

I know warm days are ahead
and might just yet
erect my own altar
to the unsung strength
of small things
the good of shiny things
like today’s
abalone sunset