From the walled window
of this other universe
the world looks very much the same.
Dusk approaches. I
breathe the smoky air.
Just beyond the turning
of the main road there’s
a path that wanders through pine trees
sometimes overgrown, sometimes clear,
like a story the old woman tells,
about the love potion that succeeded
and failed, and then. . . .

After a while, I open the door and
wander that way,
feeling the cold air enter my lungs
like an ancient glowing army
that disappears into the cave;
I can just see the final
purple streaks of twilight
— hints of a different
conclusion some wiser man
could have imagined.

After a while my thoughts begin
turning to chimney smoke that
drifts upward,
my feet stirring
along like a few twigs
just tossed on the embers,
an awkward diminished fire
still seething and hissing
in my chest.
Dark solitude. I can tell
that whatever else it is,
this confused and inconsolable
passion will be with me
to the end.