Wednesday, August 08, 2007
A Connecticut Avenue Quartet
1. A SPRING AFTERNOON AT THE LIBRARY
that now long-lost afternoon
in April, in the library, I saw
that the leaves had returned
to the branches
outside the window. Now
that is all it was: leaves, blowing
in the windy sunlight: somehow,
in spite of the chances against it
occurring, in spite of the critic's wan sneer,
I dreamed this lovely thing.
2. CLEVELAND PARK, 2003
Children in the children's reading room peer
to the young boy
moving from one
to another, peripherally
by the second hand, trees
dimly in windows.
3.CLOSED ON SUNDAYS
Summer hours, white
Secret pinewoods to the ocean -- now what?
It finds me in the coffee shop, almost penniless,
seated at a bar unable to remember
how I came there (why is obvious).
Do you know this terror -- not to remember?
I go to the back of the shop and look in the mirror,
look in his aggrieved and music-haunted eyes.
The mouth opens, but there are no words;
there are words, but the mouth will not open.
Tears form but cannot fall, fingers
gradually tightening at my throat . . .
Blood of his blood, flesh of his ghost --
the hand stretched toward me in the flames!
I am worn out, I can't go on.