Saturday, July 31, 2010

Past is Past


Sequestered, placid as Lake Louise,
a mirror propped between cataracts

of ageless and degraded rock,
we’ve forgotten the ecstatic plunge

and caress of clouds, for the slow roil
unseen, mimicked by old rainfall.

My grandfather’s moon gazes on me
at all the wrong times, never seeing

the Aurora Borealis
or the darkness between each star,

only his own tired, smiling face,
which long since ceased to be a face.


We are the April lawns returning,
divided by the mower-barked roots

of the only tree we know. Enveloped,
sheets of green between loam and air,

pierced by worm and bird, and decay,
yielding the hue of our enthusiasm,

we grow. Given the choice, we might
welcome rootlessness for the freedom

of air. Only the ground is given.
Our life, at both its root and blade,

diminishes to a hair’s breadth,
and there is transubstantiated.


All that is left of us is faces
painted on the underside of rocks

lining the walkway. We hear footfalls,
spend what little breath clings to us

trying to blow, flip on our backs.
Between the glass and the silvering,

refraction is pure and unmarried
to purpose. Images are trapped,

but free to look in either direction.
Two hands place the mirror in the grass

and then, gently, on it rest the rock.
All that is left of us is faces.

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