The Glassy Harbor

O faint sad noises
and milky dullness,

rose-colored blindness
in evening gowns

how moist and rhythmic
those who walk near

the glassy harbor.
Silent drift of deserters

from the theater,
and everywhere the stars

receding, receding . . .
nothing to hold onto

but their own silver hearts.


“The Glassy Harbor,” from Viper Jazz, published by Wesleyan University Press, 1976. Copyright © 1976 by James Tate. Reprinted with permission