I watch your approach through the door the way I used to watch the weather coming through that dark rift in the mountains years ago: the shadows in the valley running hard beneath the clouds; they coursed over everything, unstoppable as the velvet left hand of a plague. Troops and troops of them under the sun. My fingernails now, ragged as the clouds, shift across your back. Beneath your weight I could be whittling diamonds in the dark, crusading agates, emeralds, steel . . . Beneath your weight A vein has been opened: the years fall in like victims, taken from behind.