The studied poverty of a moon roof,
The earthenware of diaries cooled by apple trees,
The apple tree that makes the whitest wash...
But I forget the names, remembering them wrongly
Where they touch upon another name,
A town in France like a woman’s Christian name.
My childhood is preserved as a nation’s history,
My favourite fairy tales the shells
Leased by the hermit crab.
I see my grandmother’s death as a piece of ice,
My mother’s slimness restored to her,
My own key slotted in the door –
Tricks you might guess from this unfastened button,
A pen mislaid, a word misread,
My hair coming down in the middle of a conversation.
Like a tool in the closed vessel of the world;
I will be flat like a dream on both sides,
Or a road that makes one want to walk.
My words will be without words
Like a net hidden in a lake,
Their pale individual moisture
My eyes will not be the eyes of a poet
Whose voice is beyond death;
This face, these clothes, will be a field in autumn
And the following autumn, will be two sounds,
The second of which is deeper.
The sky for me on any one night
Will be the successive skies over the course
Of a year, for time that I love
Will have cut up and entered my body;
Time will have gathered the roots
Of my last spring, floating rather
Than anchored, and thrust them between
The two planes of my cheek and brow.
Even now, his lips are becoming
Narrower and bloodless, ever-searching,
Razor-like; unforgettable time,
During which I forget time, a new sort
Of time that descends so far down
Into me and still stays pure.
I imagine his house as a possible setting
For the harmony between one drop of water
And another, one wave and another wave,
Where the light accustoms one to light
And each occurrence is a touch.
When we pass through some darkness,
The waiting has pulled us.
Without the help of words, words take place.
Compared with this absence, weighed,
Diluted in time presence is abandonment,
Absence his manner of appearing,
As though one received from outside
The energy to accept the swept room
As much as the sweeping.
Though each instant of light
Wipes away a little of it
We shall not lose the way
In which things receive it:
Carry me who am death
Like a bowl of water
Filled to the brim
From one place to another.