The countenance arrives before the poetry. After her visit, words began to sink down or float up or move out from the place they go to rest. Now, silence gives way. My ears hear tingling in my fingers; my eyes see the smell of tulips. The unlatched gate groans a little in fainting rain. Tell me beloved: how far do these spirits swim? They paddle out, float for weeks and head back in towards hiccuping shores. Ah, but that's the metaphysics talking again. Pour me another, won't you? Sitting kitty-corner on the couch, we both slightly rise to clink wine glasses together. Heaven works without interference; one day you look around and you are it and it is here. Prayer is a whisper for your mind, a way to settle, a way to open to what is already alert. In that way, she is a prayer answered. A monk arrived here one time in sheep's clothing. He took my hands to kneel but at the last minute, grabbed my wrists and held them high against the wall. Prayer is that, too. I can no longer kiss, though. Medice, cura te ipsum. April begins with daffodils and hosta fingers clawing up from the grave. Hyacinth tries to bloom but its faded purples and pinks are damaged from the late snows. This inventory has become the color of survival. At night the earth smells soggy and alive; my benedictions live here. May you, who is we, know the extent to which you are loved – like the surprise of first bloom with the power to heal.