dust rim the shade of dim twilight.
So hot -- August manifests
its own siestas
with after glow; embers bright
still and shuttered louvers.
So quiet - imagine the mantilla,
the powdered skin of sponge cakes senoras
beneath black and summer lace, greasepaint
like a tapas oil; slowly rocking;
plates of oranges at
Wind picks up and then is stony breeze again.
again settles in the sickroom stillness.
cathedrals, like piney lofts,
spiral off to space, carrying
centuries of protective prayers
or immense disdain for a city
built on this brutal plain.
Prado heroes, martyrs, victims
peer imperious or with
fear: human flotsam caught up in the
tolling out the first glimpse of doomed
armadas: the end of the end of empire.
And then: a room, a
woman singing in the shroud of trees
and -- of a sudden -- the
rose you own turns violent,
wide open and upended, with the
purple smell of violets in Morocco.
Then: you watching me, as
I swallow them.
We Have on Our Hands
must be on the verge of beginning to begin to be.
of our lives are as obsolete as old coins
and the size of
roses are failing down the street:
a churchyard, a tower clock
revives the day, a joke
that time will keep on going and
latter-day chrysanthemums bloom
as if nature blesses those who
stand and wait; and I think of October
as the light that
fails, the time clock's precious ticks as fools
a false belief in what it is to remain self-contained
possible as what it means to slip toward the past
what will be
as being born as a debtor to the posthumous
what is real as
the chance to drown at any moment
permanence as what is marked
for every foe that turns
as surely as the roses' blossoms fall
and every residue
as the realm of worms or resin holding fast
to some pine bough's
keep; and, then, of all the winters that
have come relentless and secure.
Something must be on verge of
beginning to begin to be: a place
to where we plunge, we
plunge with no more need for stealth than midnight.
Concealed from the Road
drops whiteness -
like snow cascading
or the lace
trembling up and down
a flamingo dancer
the white you will see
inside a church in early
the veils of girls
at First Communion - cold,
the way you remember
spreading wetness where we lie
whiteness of our own.