Al tempo lieto già pensosa e trista,
Sí ‘ntentamente ne l’amata vista
Requie cercavi de’ futuri afanni
Let us go now, til it be
that all you and I can see
is made the slightest bit unstable;
along these fine rain-slickened streets
run along these sticky, glowing streets
and see (for the first time, you know, for me)
steam breathed from sewer grates,
snowflakes caught in headlights
like the sunlit motes of dust that spin above my table.
Those specks still float across my sight.
The doctor says not to worry,
or at least there isn’t any hurry—
Just my mind’s nebulae,
or maybe just detritus:
pens and styrofoam, clothes, cups, unread books
which make it hard to focus when I’m writing at my table.
(All my weeks are gone.
All my hours still are holding on.)
Faster, you and me.
Running now, perhaps forgetting
that all my time spent waiting
doesn’t end so easily.
From here, to where we were before,
which, while solid (I know, I’ve touched it) seems a
cinderblock to sunrise.
A fine one, painted thick tan,
perfect for those lovely blinkless afternoons
staring at nothing, thinking.
Of what? You?
(If all my weeks are gone
my hours still toss and turn
even when I’m sleeping
feeling the slightest itch, the slightest charcoal burn,
the heater gently creaking,
a source I’ve been unable—)
I never thought about the smell of smoke.
Now I’m always thinking about the smell of smoke
I find in doorways, in grey wide open space,
reminding my heart to race.
But why? For attrition.
For both joy and repetition.
And would you exchange
that sunset for a kiss
an image—even half imagined—for this?
(So the days have flown,
whittled sharp hard deep. As to the bone.)