somewhat like a deathbed moment,
a feeling of vague resignation,
the massed currents of events and
thoughts coalesce, are perceived
face-to-face in silent recognition,
then flow in terraced silver-blue
waves to shore, erasing the humid
footprints of countless forgotten
lives, in this form the currents
are poised, and understood, an
illusion, no doubt, but it is the
structure of a finished life’s
perceptions, it must suffice,

somewhat like a deathbed moment,
to see through tired eyes,
eyes whose lids are encrusted
with the limitations of consciousness,
to suddenly glimpse the massed
oceanic plane, to sense all sounds,
all colors, all actions subsumed,
to see precocious waves no longer
obscured by the random aggregations
of wood and steel, to feel the icy
stab of water on bare toes

a sun reclines gently amid
furled bundles of dark blue clouds,
casting shimmering streaks of
amber over taut hushed waves,
on the horizon      a dolphin leaps,
a golden crescent against the sky


(an arbitrary point on a calendar)

sometimes memory quickens, swells,
and flows to shore, wave upon wave,
breaking in cool, satisfying showers
at one’s feet, then to retreat,
and mass again in the fabric of the mind

sometimes memory acquires ambiguity,
it is borne on hushed humid winds
over waves of summer wheat, under
expectant skies bathed in bronze,
and passes on, moving toward the horizon
amid incoherent murmurs; one turns quickly
but it is gone

and sometimes memory becomes turgid,
it withers, the sea is dry, the fields bare,
and one can only say that another day
has wedged its oppressive bulk between
the present and that imaginary past,
just another day farther on

hello, how are you,
good to see you again,
to plop down the tattered
suitcase in this dim corner
of time,

to see your shadow again,
on these dark walls, voices
again, in these obscure damp
rooms, your eyes, lips, the vast
vulnerable plain between cheek
and ear, on which years of
existence, lived and unlived,
poured out and swirled for a
moment in freedom and power,
dancing and painting broad swaths
of silver and yellow across
rapt skies, to sink, and die away,
into utter winter silence,

your form, there, and there, and
there, performing amazing, inconceivable
acts of motion and being, one could
touch it, and the mind, one could
touch it also, but never enough,
never exhaust the continuous amazement
of existence, and the unremitting
affinities of atoms,

is it possible to build again, a
vain construction of remorse and
desire, a furtive celebration of fact,
a hopeless requiem for the past,
a tireless attempt to grasp what
was once, on the continuum of time,
tangible, and hold it again,

one sits and looks out, on a
brisk and dusky night, a luminous
golden moon shrouded by arches of
surging muddy clouds, shimmering
yellow rivulets play across thick
green leaves, swaying in hushed
anticipation of nothing