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and couvre feu, cover the fire 
because when the bell sounds, it means
curfew, it is mellow-drama, facsimile
of a tryst, trusted
meeting place, waiting
like a shelter or decoy, duck blind
with the perfect vision
of the Venetian blind: a number of thin
horizontal slats that may be raised
or lowered with one cord, all set
at a desired angle. Love too we’re told
is blind, but desire,
as Aristotle knew, is all
angle, and so he gave us the math
to keep track of our loves: Number,
he said, has two senses: what is counted
or countable, and that by which
we count
. Remember
to cover the rosemary in winter, uncover
the basil before the sun
comes up, and when you take
cover, cover your head with your hands
and forearms, as we learned in school, once
you have crouched under
your desk. In January, beneath the roof
of the house, a sparrow curves
in the scroll of a corbel, and soon
at Carnevale a mask will be held
at half-mast like the lid
of a casket before it lies under
the grass. How much ground
have you covered
today? You always take
all the covers, it’s true. But do not
take cover under a tree
during a storm—your body will lift
its wick to light, and you will gleam
like Venus just before dawn: a satellite
in the atelier where true
and tree are related, unable to choose
between heaven and earth, to make seems
come true.