While you stand at the windows
words begin to fall, cascade, on the other side of the glass.
Like the bird that fell after hitting the fleet cloud window,
its neck broken.

The words are not solitary. Neither are they marks drifting,
though they remain singular.

Their vowels gather. Mesmerizing the air.

They are like the edges of the rooms you have entered
and discovered to be curved, convex, or
the interior of a mouth, sound compressed.
Fibers of a muscle, they expand.

Leaves drop from the lemon tree straggling up from the garden,
rinds of its fruit thick, the pulp inside thirsty and curtailed.

The words stutter, consonants unfasten,
the gates of the garden below open, one by one

This text originally appeared in Jaime Robles’s Memory Palace (2017)

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jaime Robles is a writer and visual artist. She has produced many of her texts as artist books, including Loup d’Oulipo (Woodland Editions, 2002) and Letters from Overseas (Woodland Editions, 2010), and her books are in collections at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley; the Beinecke Library, Yale University; and the Oulipo Archive in Paris, among others. She holds a doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Exeter, UK. Her books of poetry, Anime Animus Anima (2010) and Hoard (2013), were published by Shearsman Books in the UK.