Mary Ruefle

Diary of Action and Repose

In some small substation of the universe
the bullfrogs begin to puff out their mouths.
The night-blooming jasmine is fertilized
in the dark. I can smell it.
And then someone unseen and a little ways off
picks up his flute and asserts his identity
in a very sweet way.
I’ll throw in the fact it’s April in China—
ah exotica, soft night—
while the bullfrog, the jasmine, and the flute
form a diary of action that explains my repose:
spring, ripening to her ideal weight, has fallen
from the bough and into my lap.
For twenty minutes the world is perfect
while two or three thinks fumble for their glasses
in my cranium—
ah the impulse to hurt and destroy has arrived
and oh into pretty and endless trips it pares the place
round and round—