From the nursery of the moons and stars
to gilts and futures

is just an instant.

She closes her eyes and opens her eyes
and I don’t know
what lies in the darkness:

then the memories come back on,
and she answers the phone, she says
Hey, babe, how’s things?

Maybe in a turquoise light the plastic mermaids smiling.

Maybe the dog with the bad bark barking.

From the snowflake touching to the snowflake melting
on your skin

is just a life.

She closes her eyes.

Maybe the scent of the neck of the one she wanted, the lost lover.

Maybe the dead angels with the fixed grins gazing.

I’m gliding through the years.

Turning the light on at the beginning of the day,
and at the end of the day, turning the light off.

I’m gliding through the hours.

But there’s something wild among us,
reminding us of the way we came.

Like a power-cut mid-song.

Like monkeys on the New Delhi underground
invading the subway trains.

And were you there
when the first man walked on the moon?

Were you there
when the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square?

And was I there
when I don’t remember?

I open my eyes and close my eyes
and in the darkness I don’t know
what’s left in the light:

maybe the floor of a vanished ocean
with a wind blowing the branches
of coral trees, their shadows
swaying gently over the dry white sand?

Maybe all the things we let slip,
the hands we let go, and the hopes we mislaid?

Maybe a Japanese lord of old
committing suicide by inhaling,
through an ivory straw,
the dust of gold.

Maybe there’s just a different darkness.


Re-post | Original post January 2012