First

by Marianne Boruch

it’s given. Then made.
Until the dying one says Dream, undream me.

Fragment to pattern, to inscription
in dust, on leaf, across any
cardboard box in the dumpster.

He climbs a ladder to scrape then paint
one side of the house each summer into fall.
Or he skips a few years. Another winter
ringed by a keyhole. And the door, what of

the hinge, little cry that won’t uncry itself –