As in the long progress of a dream, doors open, a mouth
is a gate into a walled city, the fields beneath are greener
every hour, blossoms of two colors are opening on a single
trellis, the scent of lilies of the valley pervades the house,
the garden, the path cut through to the secret place where
green is darker than blood. In a moment I will be memory,
I will be one bright flare vanishing over the brow of the hill.
Someone combs the clouds out into the white sad hair of
old women and spreads them over blue morning. When I
show you this, you will see nothing, you will remember that
once you thought there was arrival in morning, departure at
evening, a world of doors opening and shutting in afternoon.
A finch flutters and struts on the porch rail; when a black bird
flies over, shrill grackle, the finch flies. I have grains of coffee
on my hands, two of my nails are roughly broken, a vein stands
out on the back of the clenched hand I’m not writing with.
After forty-five years I still remember seeing the veins on a
boy’s arms, staring at them. Remembering this over and over
is what has made it memorable. The past is a world in which
all is afternoon. Tell me which evening is the one when the sun
will go down like a stone and the new moon rise like an ark.
Bring the cup, the stone, the white cloth for winding. Nothing
can arrest this sorrow greening in the fields, blossoming
on the trellis, sending perfume through the gates.