Poem About Morning
Whether it’s sunny or not, it’s sure
To be enormously complex-
Trees or streets outdoors, indoors whoever you share,
And yourself, thirsty, hungry, washing,
An attitude towards sex.
No wonder half of you wants to stay
With your head dark and wishing
Rather than take it all on again:
Weren’t you duped yesterday?
Things are not orderly here, no matter what they say.
But the clock goes off, if you have a dog
It wags, if you get up now you’ll be less
Late. Life is some kind of loathsome hag
Who is forever threatening to turn beautiful.
Now she gives you a quick toothpaste kiss
And puts a glass of cold cranberry juice,
Like a big fake garnet, in your hand.
Cranberry juice! You’re lucky, on the whole,
But there is a great deal about it you don’t understand.
A few minutes ago, I stepped onto the deck
of the house. From there I could see and hear the water,
and everything that’s happened to me all these years.
It was hot and still. The tide was out.
No birds sang. As I leaned against the railing
a cobweb touched my forehead.
It caught in my hair. No one can blame me that I turned
and went inside. There was no wind. The sea
was dead calm. I hung the cobweb from the lampshade.
Where I watch it shudder now and then when my breath
touches it. A fine thread. Intricate.
Before long, before anyone realizes,
I’ll be gone from here.
The seasons revolve and the years change
With no assistance or supervision.
The moon, without taking thought,
Move in its cycle, full, crescent, and full.
The white moon enters the heart of the river;
The air is drugged with azalea blossoms;
Deep in the night a pine cone falls;
Our campfire dies out in the empty mountains.
The sharp stars flicker in the tremulous branches;
The lake is black, bottomless in the crystalline night;
High in the sky the Northern Crown
Is cut in half by the dim summit of a snow peak.
O heart, heart, so singularly
Intransigent and corruptible,
Here we lie entranced by the starlit water,
And moments that should each last forever
Slide unconsciously by us like water.
At first you didn’t know me.
I was a shape moving rapidly, nervous
at the edge of your vision. A flat, high voice,
dark slash of hair across my cheekbone.
I made myself present, though never distinct.
Things I said that he repeated, a tone
you could hear, but never trace, in his voice.
Silence—followed by talk of other things.
When you would sit at your desk, I would creep
near you like a question. A thought would scurry
across the front of your mind. I’d be there,
ducking out of sight. You must have felt me
watching you, my small eyes fixed on your face,
the smile you wondered at, on the lips only.
The voice on the phone, quick and full of business.
All that you saw and heard and could not find
the center of, those days growing into years,
growing inside of you, out of reach, now with you
forever, in your house, in your garden, in corridors
of dream where I finally tell you my name.