|Jan/Feb 2004 • Poetry|
When in Your Sleep You Knew
I saw you first, a tower behind the smoke,
Flames like turbines sucking your water in.
The fire untamed, my building burning black,
You held me as the floors caved in.
I kept that embrace so I could watch over
Your eyes half-parted in the dream-shine of secrets,
Bells careening in wild private danger,
When in your sleep you knew no regrets.
September and your heart pushed that big engine
Redly past: the rush of trees, the wind.
Downstream you rushed in that fireproof coat
While ashes rose like wingbeats through cab and horn,
Downstream and away your voice
Took all the flowers a cold fall could burn.
Sonnet of the Leaves
An old dim bulb is all that the sun
has looked like since the day has begun,
The white of an egg and a blinded eye
Are all I have to see her by.
Again this year I have nothing left to do
but take the same long path of sift and spin
down to the roots where old life collects
in leaves like the black blood of rotting apricots.
I've worn their violet hats, their passion-plums,
their scarlet strokes on butter yellow parchment,
the sun-stroke peaches, moon-fire dressing gowns.
Over my head still hang some frog and pickle greens,
but down, the rust of harrows in a field,
brown smut of old gloves and pumpkins,
a load of copper bullion, ocean foam.
The tanning of drought-burned pears.
While I have the yellow fever of drying grass,
the sky is white and heavy, swirling with snow.