A branch snaps loud as a bone-break.You see it flashclear as Sirius in the night sky.I'm writing a way through wintermy snow-filled pen a sprawlof linear hoarfrosta calligraphy loosely formedon a window—the heart's flame like winter sunrising in the eastsevere at that momentif you're out there in the white field. [End Page 48]
Street light drops into a blue pool.A moth rises in a swoopand fliesto the one spot it knows.
Wind swept the earthturned everything up.The sky alien at firstfilled with dust—moths adrift in the dark.Things fall apart:a house on a hill with a crosswhole countries lost.How will we know themthe named?The eyes that dwellwhere they flamed.
Night gusts . . .ghost moths throng this small spacewing beats release a scent so potentshe comeswithout tongue or mouth.The exactness of their fit and lifttheir fall a long way downin darkness.
The moth in its small worldis master.In the stratospherewhere the winged drifteverything is nothingand the same. [End Page 49]
Moonlight shimmies the snow-field.A bell ringsstirs the sleeping moths.Inside the book of thoughtwinter.
In the deep they driftsilent as moons.What do they do in the dark?Tinker the word chimein the silence of heart. [End Page 50]
Words flew into my heartfrom a nearby house.We were thinking the same thoughtabout love in the Soviet.A bird fluttered on the peripherya secondary characterin a play of shadows.A man shouted into my faceanother wore class like a grace—he shared everything.In the presence of grotesque beliefthe spirit curls at my feetlike a child on an open-decked boatat sea off the west coast.I'm reading from a new scriptwords that will soundin a cool anterior. [End Page 51]
Sisters, did you hear the sound of a trainat your shoulder?"It sped away through a tunnel of trees."
Sisters, did you see crystals of snowform to glaciers?"There were bodies in layers like thieves."
Sisters, did you speak to your keepers?"They ransacked our quarters,language hid in a bunk with fleas." [End Page 52]
Not the house, or where you lived, or how it was but nowas you walk outlight's bright wing above the horizon.
Perfect blue, uncloudedyour hand sees-through to the moon fading back at that momenta universe measured, rounded.
The sunflower open, its seed-black centre feedingand the present, a moment gone, in its own way nothing without earth'sturning over and around, its slow-growing, its hunger.
No sense now of the day before: the hours priorstanding here without memory, empty as the tree will be.The world tilting, repeating particulars in times regular and seasons.
No final number, no chart, a moment you remember when you were whole.Layers peel back, the daily ongoing . . . backward to a beginningthe future hidden in still-dark matter. [End Page 53]
Lonesome Big City Dweller
He just popped onto my screen:DNA, transposition of the family line, so like beauty I'm stunned.
It's true I say to myself, we love them way beyond ourselvesthey make us the aspiration we once had.
I remember the first Surrealist book I boughtand the photomontage, Lonesome Big City Dweller:
Bayer's large eyes staring out from open palmsand I see him, our adult son, his face inside the circuitry enclosure
fixed between two spheres, a nowhere that doesn't hold him fastan image as fleeting as a sunbeam.
I imagine his shoulders sprout plumage I can feel the thrumof tiny wingbeats like a fan.
We drift in and out of conversationand I'm thinking how we slip through shapes, how we replicate:
a semblance, a word, a perspective like Bayer's ghostlyfingers fingerprinting...