I am working on a specimen so pale it is like staring at snow from the bow of a ship in fog. I lose track of things—articulation of wing, fineness of hair—as if the moth itself disappears, but remains as an emptiness before me. Or, from its bleakness, the subtlest distinctions suddenly increase: the slightest shade lighter in white begins to breathe with a starkness that’s arresting and the very idea of color terrifies. It has snowed and the evening is blue. The herders look like buoys, like waders the water has gotten too deep around. They’ll have to swim in to shore. Their horses are patient. They love to be led from their stalls. They love to sharpen their teeth on the gate. They will stand, knees locked, for hours.
Turned Back the Disaster Comes Back
Contrary, besieged, my self
makes me its accomplice.
I owe him, my mandatory proxy,
a borrowed happenstance,
a philosophy in place of me.
Welcome, difficult neighbor,
the patient, dying, announces,
for he is my neighbor, who
assigns the me in me eaten away.
Such is the new future no present
remembers: the fall of the regular
fall of the beat—the disaster
again. Speaking, we cause it
to appear, the gentlest want,
the same word crushed, feverish.
The disaster is beyond the pale.
Improper disaster, what have you
done? God no longer the neighbor
in this night spared. It is dark, disaster.
What a long way there is to go.