Night again. as inescapable as morning, though
morning’s timid, trusting optimism has died,
cold. Burning sadness like a blue-flamed oboe
its notes of ache scorch nascent poems inside.
Words scramble away, their thin edges charred
or scream—inchoate, singed to grey wisps—
disintegrated dreams slip through bent fingers, scarred:
cities unseen, no sailboats glide through mists,
never a tree where once a seedling was planted,
never a grandchild whose laughter sparks yours
never the longed-for recognition granted,
winter’s bright-blinding slap of ice floors.
Time held in cupped palms, the universe, whole
At once then and now; blue unmoored soul.
No one warns the stars; what need have they
of preliminary alarm? Their power over you
spreads, then bows to the moon’s constant sway
orbiting a dark planet’s memory, deja vu.
When we were there before, did shadows threaten
to illuminate the past, or wipe it blank
did we use love like a balm or a weapon
spellbound kissed, light blue precious thanks
dear love, if you were the tree falling – no one
in the forest – did it shake your cells to their souls?
impact still reverbing, did you lie there stunned,
breath a silent echo, sound a black hole
You, pulsing into space while felled on the ground
inescapable night, daybreak yet to astound.
My dry red eyes bleed, imagining too much,
implore sunrise to reveal a truth more stark
tree roots converse underground, seeking touch,
feed each other nutrients, messages in the dark
Only the solitary tree falls before its time
its roots stretched too thin, parched too dry
thwarted in its determination to climb
never bursting through to the blue of sky
Now I’m running out of money, time: broke
Now I wonder if we ever did – love – in fact:
We fell: down through dreams, and later awoke
in the night again, our instruments cracked.
Invasive species burn us through with no resistance
while blue-flame smoke dissipates my existence.