An arrangement dawn has with dusk.
What they mean when they say “forever”.
Stupid and beautiful, they think they’re laughing, but they’re crying.
Why can’t they see that?

How they leave, and what they say,
and how they pretend you’re together.
The shore of the flesh: the scent of pines,
redolent of the path into the woods,
of the crush of dry leaves underfoot,
and of other precious, numinous, forgettable things.
The sound of their laughter, and the butterflies.
The sound of their laughter, and the shells.
The bowl with the apples, the second-hand car
drifting, first out of their lives, then out of life.
But they don’t notice:
they have the stars. They have their careers.

How the children make the castle in the lemon trees.
What Gloomy Bear needs, and how it is different.
The wild moon in your heart, baying and baying
in its cyclic, asinine way, as if you could want it;
and how, then, for a moment, you want it.
The awful tenderness.

Don’t wait around, and don’t wait up.
Even when the god appears, shyly through the mist,
he’ll only disappoint you.
Don’t think what you’re about to think;
don’t say what you’re about to say.
And if it calls you at dawn, don’t answer.
And if it makes you happy,
throw it away.

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