Pride and Woodpeckers by James Reitter I can’t imagine you in Austen’s world
of status, circumstance—much too stiff,
the air too tight. You need the smoke to curl
around your fingers and conversations: a gift
of intimacies between an inhale/exhale exchange.
Those breaths give rhythm to our song and dance,
the patterns woven together, rearranged
throughout some twenty years of happenstance.
The smoke survives in ambiguous layers, tied
together by mystery, science. We