Click here to listen to Karl Kirchwey read this poem. Those nights the fireflies love best— windless and a little humid— when they are current in the pasture, busy in their greeny traffic, signaling beneath the stars (“Like a nightclub’s marquee,” she says, remembering Fifty-Second Street), then I think pleasure is like this, accomplished in a perfect silence undeceived by loneliness.

And in the morning on the lawn,
seedpods of Eastern cottonwood
lie scattered open, white and brilliant,
as if true to some child’s account
of what pleasure becomes with daylight.