Mente mia, che presaga de’ tuoi damni,

Al tempo lieto già pensosa e trista,

Sí ‘ntentamente ne l’amata vista

Requie cercavi de’ futuri afanni



Let us go now, til it be

that all you and I can see

is made the slightest bit unstable;

along these fine rain-slickened streets

run along these sticky, glowing streets

and see (for the first time, you know, for me)

steam breathed from sewer grates,

snowflakes caught in headlights

like the sunlit motes of dust that spin above my table.



Those specks still float across my sight.

The doctor says not to worry,

or at least there isn’t any hurry—

Just my mind’s nebulae,

or maybe just detritus:

pens and styrofoam, clothes, cups, unread books

which make it hard to focus when I’m writing at my table.


(All my weeks are gone.

All my hours still are holding on.)



Faster, you and me.

Running now, perhaps forgetting

that all my time spent waiting

doesn’t end so easily.

From here, to where we were before,

which, while solid (I know, I’ve touched it) seems a

cinderblock to sunrise.

A fine one, painted thick tan,

perfect for those lovely blinkless afternoons

staring at nothing, thinking.


Of what? You?



(If all my weeks are gone

my hours still toss and turn

even when I’m sleeping

feeling the slightest itch, the slightest charcoal burn,

the heater gently creaking,

a source I’ve been unable—)



I never thought about the smell of smoke.

Now I’m always thinking about the smell of smoke

I find in doorways, in grey wide open space,

reminding my heart to race.

But why? For attrition.

For both joy and repetition.



And would you exchange

that sunset for a kiss

an image—even half imagined—for this?


(So the days have flown,

whittled sharp hard deep. As to the bone.)