That was a great night we spied upon
Singing a hot sweet song to the super-stars
Shuffling off behind the smoke-haze . . .
Fog-horns sentimentalizing on the river . . .
Lights dwindling to shining slits
In the wet asphalt. . .
Purring lights . . . red and green and golden - whiskered . . .
Digging daintily pointed claws in the soft mud . . .
. . . But you did not know. . .
As the trains made golden augers
Boring in the darkness . . .
How my heart kept racing out along the rails,
As a spider runs along a thread
And hauls him in again
To some drawing point . . .
You did not know
How wild ducks’ wings
Itch at dawn . . .
How at dawn the necks of wild ducks
Arch to the sun
And new-mown air
Trickles sweet in their gullets.
As water, cleared of the reflection of a bird
That has lately flown across it,
Yet trembles with the beating of its wings,
So my soul . . . emptied of the known you . . . utterly . . .
Is yet vibrant with the cadence of the song
You might have been . . .
‘Twas a great night. . .
With never a waste look over a shoulder
Curved to the crook of the wind . . .
And a great word we threw
For memory to play knuckles with . . .
A word the waters of the world have washed,
Leaving it stark and without smell . . .
A world that rattles well in emptiness: