In the wind the dogwoods bend,
an osculation of branch and bud.
Four ivory bracts lined like foreheads,
thin as skin and scent of sky.
Under the cobalt vault of night
they radiate like prayers: a rictus
in the darkness, they are cool
as Buddhism, ethereal as cumulus.
Sentinels of my window, they
absorb the moons mist-white light
bounce it back to the sky
like a thousand tin tops,
an inversion of stars.
Published in River Oak Review
No 12 Spring 1999