Poetry and Poetics
VARIATIONS ON THE SUSPENSION OF TIME
The evening adjourns: the contrail intersects
the guy-wire; the robins peck the trash to death;
six blocks away, traffic winds the roads like clocks;
on the porch, paint curls into a self-portrait
of Van Gogh who has lost his hat;
the sun terrorizes the brilliant daisies.
So little time remains to ambush the sky
under the lively, silver applause of cottonwoods—
the red clouds and blue wind spiral together alone
against the curve that leaves us all here standing.
The summer loosens
against the morning dew
and the sounds of waking concrete
burn red at 6 am.
The remote traffic of years
past finds you:
streetcars scrape the rails,
their bells tune the air;
on brick streets.
Now the wind scratches
in the gutters.
The rose blushes
in the early light.
The smell of tar
tangles your hair.
The breeze all at once is spent
and you quietly touch the years gone.
The streetlights hum and sputter and dim.
—"The line at infinity is a
The old men climb in the tree tethered
to the darkness, the headlights of their truck
fastened to their waists. The smell of wood
burning rises through the black locust's arms
where the leaves tremble, branches crack.
The truck engine pulses while the cherry picker
jerks and touches the blended night sky
in geometric theorems. It reaches for infinity,
a straight line that finally curves at the end
of the universe.
© by Michael
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