Lines Written for Elmo Castelnuovo
It's not time that passes, it's you, it's I
-- Rutger Kopland
In winter, by late afternoon, it's almost dark
when you come home from the mine. I hear
of your pail before you round the corner
by the back steps where I've been waiting.
In the sharp chill of the air, the mineral
comes with you. You turn down the collar
of your shirt and let water from the pump
pour down your face and nape, the skin above
your undershirt pale as the crescent moon visible
above the darker mass of the hills.
You drive for hours, heading nowhere; you walk
the streets at night and argue with the moon --
something hidden and manic in you emerged,
homeless and bewildered under a pile
of coats in an alleyway no wider
than the mines you entered as a young man.
stalking the rat, did they become your familiars?
on their way, did they believe you were invisible?
Did the tag knotted to your toe say nameless?
• • •
on my head, the coal-rimmed hollows of your eyes.
If you returned now from the sooty underworld
in which you dwell, you would not recognize me.
The gate is gone; the house and those who lived in it
are hidden elsewhere. Only the crescent moon
and darkling hills are as you left them. Come back
as you were, if only for a moment. I'm waiting
by the back steps. The kitchen window casts
for your arrival. You will be hungry and tired,
as in those years through which our lives passed.
- 最新评论 进入详细评论页>>