We may pray the days that are the ruin of our ideal of grace and poise | don’t come | mist over the fields in autumn, as it should be | crows closer, as if wrapped in ethereal muslin, cypresses | To be ruler of a crowd is youth in motion | to be ruler of two or three, awry, through rue, more than enough | but to rule over one essential | As it may be | gauge the glide of gesture | pale yellow of the craftsman’s sleeve | in a sustained elegance of touch and of withholding | touch | artistry in the calculation and the placement | of each bon mot | a sensibility | drawn to perfection | our desire | to master confectionery | If there were no end to surface, there would be no end to this life of ours | we could uphold and explore | the realm of skin and of | the mercy of the spaces between | forever | But inwards the surface leads, curving | an insurrectionary kindness | the revolution of her being there, his not | being here | to place a hollow in our emptiness | a particular make of emptiness, like a current | of water in water | or dusk, on an island, the last time words | could be made | imperative in our need for them | we see this only clearly now | they have failed | to order | Therefore, you will not understand | these fears for our house | the threat from those | who | undermine us with our own affections | bear upon us to understand | we cannot stand apart | but by being our heart | break our heart

 


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2014)