0 Boulder, unbroken.
Stone block, unlocked.
1 Man stands, nods.
Freezes with his feet splayed.
2 Snake, curled to strike. Skin
fans out from golden coil.
3 Sweet curves, cupped hands.
4 The large bird teeters in its sleep.
5 My grandfather, keg-bellied,
shading his eyes from the Chinese sun.
6 My grandmother, child-bellied,
watching her hands smooth down her dress.
7 Lightning, going slow.
8 Infinity, but only when you’re lying down.
9 Someone’s fist, curled to strike.
No one flinches.
10 The tired man stands
beside the boulder.
He cannot touch it, cannot lean.
after May Swenson