Permit again a window. A house, a mouth, a room

to be human in. Let there be a vitrine


holding a beeswax hand that is your own. It is sleep

I mostly recollect, the warm reprise


of flesh, insistence

and dispersal, its gathering


you in. But no. I have beaten

the body back


(could there be an intercession)


have turned it from its hungers, have rinsed it

from the scene. So her face


as she turns from the window, half illumined,

half dark. And the scar she traces, slowly


(could there be an impression)


on his cheek. Outside, the sky assembles

into its fractured grid. Rainwater pools in their courtyard.


(could there be a lens)


From the train, a passing landscape


(could there be an edifice, a bridge)


(could there be a figure)


whited out with rain. That there was, for so long


no station. No language


(sotto voce)


before which I could speak. Let there be


a narrow margin, emergent

on the sand. These pitted


shadows, sunsplint

tufts of grass. A river, blurred in the distance


(their sheets worn out, translucent

from long use)


and the man I'll never see again


exiting the train. As the moments close around him.

As, in the empty railyard, the birds rehearse their flight.


Let us be, for a time

forgiven. Let us hold


what we must hold. So that the earth might right itself

through the dark of sleep, through all our sex and texts.





Places I've Been

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