Presently at our touch the teacup stirred,
Then circled lazily about
From A to Z. The first voice heard
(If they are voices, these mute spellers-out)
Then when the flame forked like a sudden path
I gasped and stumbled, and was less.
Density pulsing upward, gauze of ash,
Dear light along the way to nothingness,
I peered into the crater’s heaving red
And quailed. I called upon the Muse. I said,
“The day I cease to serve you, let me die!”
And woke alone to birdsong, in our bed.
These days which, like yourself,
Seem empty and effaced
Have avid roots that delve
To work deep in the waste.
Out for a walk, after a week in bed,
I find them tearing up part of my block
And, chilled through, dazed and lonely, join the dozen
In meek attitudes, watching a huge crane
Crossing the street,
I saw the parents and the child
At their window, gleaming like fruit
With evening’s mild gold leaf.
The panes flash, tremble with your ghostly passage
Through them, an x-ray sheerness billowing, and I have risen
But cannot speak, remembering only that one was meant
To rise and not to speak. Young storm, this house is yours
A card table in the library stands ready
To receive the puzzle which keeps never coming.
Daylight shines in or lamplight down
Upon the tense oasis of green felt.
I thought I would do over
All of it. I was tired
Of scars and stains, of bleared
Panes, tinge of the liver.
Somnambulists along the promenade
Have set up booths, their dreams:
Carpets, jewelry, kitchenware, halvah, shoes.
From a loudspeaker passionate lament