An arrangement dawn has with dusk.
What they mean when they say “forever”.
Stupid and beautiful, they think they’re laughing —
don’t they see, they’re crying?
As sure as night turns into day.
Too easy, too easy, too easy…

How they leave, and what they say,
and how they pretend we’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 things —
tell me about them, tell me
all about yourself,
and the sound of laughter, and the butterflies:
Bluebells, Cockleshells, and Charlie
Chaplin went to France
I forget their names.

Quite smooth, really, all things considered…
Porcelain shepherds, and those RB-51s
with the 1-inch titanium tweeters.
Peignoir and Pavilion Grey
for their halls and lounges.
How they climb, and where they stay.
The bowl with fresh 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 trite 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 at dawn it calls you, don’t answer.
And if it makes you happy,
throw it away.

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