Early Spring. Insects soaring, buzzing, or walk stiffly. Roses bloom, dying even as buds blossom on the same bush, like my thoughts, the weather's unsettled.

A biku in an orange gown, a wizened old monk with delicate hands, slowly caresses the rebellious branches of a young pine with an amorous and cruel insistence. His eyes never leave it, as if the pine were a beautiful and dangerous animal.

It had rained. As we approached the Albuquerque Museum's Sculpture Garden, the setting sun spread a reddish glow through lingering clouds, jamming with a complex vibrational pattern of Jazz musicians, and a loud one-note frog hidden among ambivalent ravens in a nearby pond?

   I love frogs that sit
   Like Buddha, that fall without
   Parachutes, that die
   Like Italian tenors.


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