But now it seems impossible
the long sleep of November,
green dying to brown, the voice
of sabotage, the skin of denial.
As all of the lessons are played out
and the blue-gold commotion of sky hums
like an alleviation. What follows?
Thin wounds and hapless brooding.
No harm in a blurred curse.
Nothing torn or mutilated,
the mess of symmetry wriggling
in the gloved sky’s hiss.
Nothing fractured or displaced,
just forgiveness floating in the harbor
like an empty boat.
Benediction of ruin wafts over the fire-strangled earth,
over the long shadows and pillars of ash.
The remnants are a cycle of drought and fierce winds
as those left without a timber or scrap of cloth
wail against the mountains. Prayer
is but a pocket of empty space.
There is too much to lament. Let us
blame and calculate the remains of the day.
The stench will clear. The moneyed
will rebuild. The flames will fade
to dusty gold. The next
dark thing will seize our souls.
Less the skim of moon than a whimper
as the swallows of early evening leave us
naked with our stale despair.
A haunted blue settles into black,
the edge of trees, a jagged saw, a risky
silhouette, the ways the human
can evaporate. Tsk tsk
of nightbirds like a slow crawl
into our thoughts which shift with the dissipation
of light, so that shape becomes elusive,
unbordered and we can see how
easy it is to disappear, how little
that means to the pines and the firs and the heron
carving its way east.