Isn't he the man with crimson socks
and the slow loris climbing
like the hour hand from his shoulder,
over his ear and up
to the pale dome of his head?
The man's face shines with affection.
He's an honest man and his pet,
lackadaisical but not dispassionate,
is devoted and clear about the nature
of their relationship. There are times
to eat and times to climb, the two things
a loris is always in the act of.
As the man turns, nearly in slow motion,
the slow loris peers
from behind his left ear and a smile
begins to spread like a sunrise
on his face. A word
takes shape in his mouth as his hands
reach into the air--reach out
as the word moves forward,
a word of arrival, recognition hovering before him.
Daughter & Chai
It's a sunny day in the middle of the year,
My daughter in a new white dress
suns herself in a very bright green beach chair.
She's too young to sit there for long,
just long enough to pursue a dream,
a single longing: a sweet, a new toy.
The sun is steady, late afternoon. She's an only child
and we worry she's lonely, even when dressed up
and dreaming. If we ask her she pretends not to hear
and pulls at her reddish hair, looking off.
If we ask again she'll say, Yes, lonesome.
There's only the one sun and it shines in her eyes.
Excerpted from Something Shining by Daniel Halpern. . Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.