African Violets

In the middle of my desk
are the African Violets
you handed me as I stepped
out the door into the December night,
and while the country of your birth
does not celebrate Christmas,
I sense you’ve traveled long to plant them
here, and their nights turning over round us.
Everyone flies in from somewhere,
passing our time this way, coordinates
transfiguring far-fetchedly; for instance,
that star, such a reluctant creature,
that crests nonetheless west above
your house toward the airport
from someone’s promised land,
its landing which every look amends,
and every second is far away less and less.

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