There were mice, and even Smaller creatures holed up in the rafters. One would raise its thumb, or frown, And suddenly the clouds would part, and the whole Fantastic contraption come tumbling down. And the arcade of forgotten things Closed in the winter, and the roller coaster Stood empty as the visitors sped away Down a highway that passed by an old warehouse Full of boxes of spools and spoons. I wonder if these small mythologies, Whose only excuse for existing is to maintain us In our miniscule way of life, Might possibly be true? And even if they were, Would it be right? Go find the moon And seal it in the envelope of night. The stars are like a distant dust And what the giants left lies hidden in full view. Brush your hair. Wipe the blood from your shoes. Sit back and watch the firedance begin. --So the rain falls in place, The playground by the school is overrun with weeds And we live our stories, filling up our lives With souvenirs of the abandoned Factory we have lingered in too long.
It's like living in a light bulb, with the leaves
Like filaments and the sky a shell of thin, transparent glass
Enclosing the late heaven of a summer day, a canopy
Of incandescent blue above the dappled sunlight golden on the grass.
I took the train back from Poughkeepsie to New York
And in the Port Authority, there at the Suburban Transit window,
She asked, "Is this the bus to Princeton?"—which it was.
"Do you know Geoffrey Love?" I said I did. She had the blondest hair,
Which fell across her shoulders, and a dress of almost phosphorescent blue.
She liked Ayn Rand. We went down to the Village for a drink,
Where I contrived to miss the last bus to New Jersey, and at 3 a.m. we
Walked around and found a cheap hotel I hadn't enough money for
And fooled around on its dilapidated couch. An early morning bus
(She'd come to see her brother), dinner plans and missed connections
And a message on his door about the Jersey shore. Next day
A summer dormitory room, my roommates gone: "Are you," she asked,
"A hedonist?" I guessed so. Then she had to catch her plane.
Sally—Sally Roche. She called that night from Florida,
And then I never heard from her again. I wonder where she is now,
Who she is now. That was thirty-seven years ago.
And I'm too old to be surprised again. The days are open,
Life conceals no depths, no mysteries, the sky is everywhere,
The leaves are all ablaze with light, the blond light
Of a summer afternoon that made me think again of Sally's hair.