Beyond the traceries of the auroras, The fires of tattered sea foam, The ghost-terrain of submerged icebergs; Beyond a cinder dome's black sands, Beyond peninsula and archipelago, Archipelago and far-flung islands, You have made of exile a homeland, Voyager, and of that chosen depth, a repose. The eel shimmers and the dogfish darts, A dance of crisscrosses and trespasses Through distillate glints and nacreous silts, And the sun, like fronds of royal palm Wind-torn, tossed, lashes upon the wake, But no lamplight mars or bleaches your realm, A dark of sediment, spawn, slough, and lees, Runoff, pitch-black, from the rivers of Psalms.
Light By Which I Read
One does not turn to the rose for shade, nor the charred song of the redwing for solace. This past I patch with words is a flaw in the silvering, memory seen through to. There I find the shallow autumn waters, the three stolen pears, The horizon edged with chalk, loose where the fabric frayed. Each yesterday glacier-scored, each a dark passage illumined by a honeycomb. * I begin to fathom the brittle intricacy of the window’s scrim of ice. For years, I managed without memory—stalled, unnumbered, abridged— No more alive than a dismembered saint enthroned in two hundred reliquaries. Now, it is hard not to say I remember, hard, in fact, not to remember. Now, I hear the filament’s quiver, its annoying high frequency, light by which I read. * River mist, mudbanks, and rushes mediate the dark matter Between two tomorrows: one an archive of chance effects, The other a necropolis of momentary appearances and sensations. One, a stain of green, where a second wash bleeds into the first. The other time-bound, fecund, slick with early rain. * As if to impose a final hermeneutic, all at once the cicadas wind down. The gooseberry bush looms like a moon: each berry taut, sour, aglow. The creek runs tar in the cloud-light, mercury at dusk. Then the frogs start up. Clay-cold at the marrow. A hollow pulse-tick. And it seems, at last, I’ve shed my scorched and papery husk.