At 6:00 PM
the light is strange, doesn’t seem to know what to do
with itself, sharp and darting. But in truth this March light
has been queer all day, creeping through corridors,
crashing the shadows of birds on walls, casting
in motion or etching in stillness unleaved branches
even as the arcunus is in heavy, early bud. Did you know
there are people who speak to no one for days
at a time, and even stranger, this is not something
to which they have committed?
The rose is obsolete
but each petal ends in
an edge, the double facet
cementing the grooved
columns of air – The edge
cuts without cutting
meets – nothing – renews
itself in metal or porcelain –
whither? It ends –
But if it ends
the start is begun
so that to engage roses
In the afternoon when the dishes were washed
and tables wiped, we rowed out on the lake.
I read aloud … The Duino Elegies,
while she reclined, one shapely knee up,
trailing a hand in the water
She had chestnut-colored hair.
Her eyes were changing like the surface
with ripples and shadows of clouds.
“Beauty,” I read to her, “is nothing
but beginning of Terror we’re still just able to bear.”