I walked into town with the clouds all dark
behind me, purple against the white
We salvaged what grace we could, and spoke
again of how patient with pain we
had to be.
Some spoke in quotations, nestled their wisdom
in comfort, ambled the fields and wharves
with no fear.
We sometimes think the earth will open, swallow
us all, that the time has come to leave,
and alarmed by the vagaries of the standard price.
Will you have some, or is it bespoke
and you too?
She was a flower like no other, a raw jewel
with no case, a coin tossed then aimed at,
shot at, missed.
In the dark, the mirrored glance you send yourself
bounces off books and exercise bike
and later the maid or some louche attendant
will find spent matches and understand,
through snowy counties that abut the gray sea,
you in a sealskin slicker, teeth white
vivid in the charged and ozone-scented air,
me not noticing much, comatose
with the cold.
It hardly matters where you land, now you're gone.
I remember the river you stood near,
cap on head,
a photo circulated by all those you left behind, since
the principle of selection was
yours to name.
In time the rain drenches everything, a box of books
was accused of assault, sitting sad
on the street.
And when the violin shrieks begin, I'll see at once
how determined you were, how certain
I'll cross in front of oncoming traffic, swallow pollen,
breathe relief at empty storefronts and
gateways and greens. There's a train arriving soon,
passing through the limbo we withstood.
Be on it.