across the windsward of a grey-black city,
no rivers hang their stars tonight.
only autumn in the alleygarden, yet ice
distils its darker moments
in transilient shadows.
branches, swept bare and bleak,
quaver abovewhere weeds lunge coldly
near earthquiet roots.
within a lighted window, a boy
scrapes white wax from candlesticks
while his mother’s fingers dip
into sky for purple stones. elsewhere,
on metallic stairs, anxious shoes
climb toward lovers, their hands
burning in yellow flowers,
and below, in darkling rooms, lips
embalm young eyes, innocent spheres
no less wet for their closing.
above the frozen silence, the walker looks up.
night sends him its crystal picture:
“thaw-into-slowness,” the image says.
how long forgotten, he wonders, simplicity
that settles our hearts, this quiet
caesura, ceasing us, the bright hiatus that
pauses our cities, restoring life
by slow lapse into empty calmness?
then, to his ears, a new voice: an aria,
tinnient on the glassdeep air,
a voice that echoes the simple birthsleepsigh
of our most peaceful stars.