Of Work

what, oh Time,
did you do with us
as fast our fine plans flew?

worked in your hours
as nameless slaves, weariness
bouncing in shaped frenzy,
our days reckoned as life or shade

how the happening drove us
to utopia, to memory,
to faces twirling distant
in scenes more solid than air,
fluid in our boxes of dust

but somewhere, we broke
from you,
stones holding gold liquid
into the sun’s challenge of pouring,
as we touched the afternoon’s
sleepy density

and saw into that glimmering of
gemsome jobs
all that we’d treasured to build
bruised there,

a darkness empty,
a beeping immensity of loss
the speed of our anonymous circulations


(c) J. Celan Smith