Far with upturned
In the café, if you mention
The other scenery
& All the starry wind
You will not fill your eyes
Or the care that summer cures
Whether a crowbar or grandfather
Clock, any tip of paperwork
In quiet motels I have sung
Before winds forced us to whisper
To whomever was at hand
Just like no one’s truck
When it wasn’t elemental
Yes, they store their looks right here
With even the cold moon dying
This isn’t where you wished to be at home
Amid glances filtered by noonday shadows
The train had an appointment.
You weren’t through. We left them there
In grace by rivers’ harbors
The shellacking grew visceral,
By turns breezy & hieratic.—
This, too, is an original
Of some sort of joyless architecture—
Like Monk dancing above the bass line
As if it were part of your idiom
In the vigilance of preemptive despair
Becoming whom you almost knew
Or held, in threadbare nightshirts
The world goes off
Its implied edge
Pieces of wind with song underneath
The moon is on the table
The invitation not replied to
Sand sifts through memory
Like crushed fingers       amethyst wrists
Cross mirrors out                   look petulant
As tulips, fingers                               rifling through snow
Think of shadows            as your pillow
Empty murmurs                cut away
Just when you were nearer
The old city, I have a joke to tell
While the unwilling scoff & jitter
At their own feral
Reflections. The truth
Is what decides
Just as “Hymn to Ancient Dialogue”
Is not a good title
Before nightfall, when the wicked
In, & you’re going, in a hurry, one fine
Morning, if you need
To be reminded
Of your fate— & so then stammer
Beside the cabinet, with a lonely jar or
A lever, or something else very serious—
Where, in the wind, we want
& Write long letters, becoming sails, or sailors
Until our lonely hearts are flung
Open by savage beasts, who skip
Climate impacts like jilted warriors
Or white-collar criminals, loitering in
A malfeasance you’d never sung
Defenestrated, in the rush of febrile
Who lie there useless
In the dark.
We were busy getting carried off to Amsterdam.
We had means to stub our fists with excellent cream.
We woke beholden to modern eyesores.
We made glass from the sweat of our notebook-stained protrusions
& Followed winter to a dim hovel
Doused with letters etched in brine.
I opened the contretemps apartment billows.
June was glad to be there.
I digested. I wrestled penciled-in vagabonds.
Only the brassy thrill of soundbytes saved me.
Later, I became festooned with ombudsmen’s sour laughter
& Went running through the park, never to become a sailor after all.