Jul/Aug 2022  •   Poetry

Because the Netting Protects

by Shareen Murayama

Public Domain image

Because the Netting Protects

...to love the things as no one has. —Rainer Maria Rilke

Keeps out red-vented bulbuls, while bees wade between eyes,
they loop atop our basil flowers. I was worried the next day

the net would look like a wall in a bar, sagging
with bycatch: the wrong species, wrong sex, whatever's

undersized is discarded. Most bars near marinas are
well-versed in tropical shells. In the afternoon, we trail

a road to the adjacent mountain. How could I have lived
my whole life here, never having seen Diamond Head

crater from above? Maybe what I'm afraid to ask—
Will anyone remember having seen us at our best heights?

Who knows? We wended our way through Aina Koa Ridge;
homes swelled story-er and story-er, like a picture book

I can't afford. Back home, I plot errands for tomorrow's
hours. I ponder the net, the turns I've taken. I refuse

to turn today into a metaphor. A bee wiggles its body
through the net. Outside, you drag a hose, the water hits

a single chord—water falling, fallen—
a single song is received by the sympathetic ground.