‘First and Last’, by Michele Leavitt
If pleasure is the absence of pain,
then pain comes first.
In the planter outside my front door,
a wren’s nest whorls down
to darkness. The nestlings chirr when I pass by,
or when the wind’s fingers brush too close,
as if the wind and I are mothers,
returning with meat, as if refreshed
sensation means relief from pain,
meaning pain comes last –
like a shadow, sleek and well-fed,
or a body’s imprint in the bed.
I grow to love you, dear familiar.
- by Michele Leavitt Author website