(after hearing Bobby McFerrin) 

O the difference
between dialogue and harmony—
how I understood
in one blue moment
to give myself to water
and I swam—

how the O of my mouth, singing,
was a listening—

the difference
between to and with,
love, how we became
one beast, how pleasure
pleasures, the long night
and the body of water.

There are things beyond words
that I’ve known all my life
and don’t yet know it,

here, right now, the rising
moon with its unbearable
pull. The tide’s a cliché,
an inevitable harvest.
There is knowledge in the body,
wisdom in water.
At forty-two I learned to swim.

A sudden descant rains down
upon my head, a cloud
of angels, and I open
my own mouth. The O 

of my voice, my voice. 

Anne Haines on the StratAnne Haines is the author of the chapbook Breach (Finishing Line Press, 2008); recent poems have appeared in Field, diode, Tipton Poetry Journal, Bloom, and elsewhere. Anne’s current projects include “Chasing Angels,” a book-length series of poems about a fictional rock musician. She lives and works in Bloomington, Indiana. 

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