The sun set from above the clouds today.
One moment: the Scott-ish thrill of snow-dusted Halifax
(dusted as a lily flours everything with orange,
scalding its neighbors with promiscuous permanence,
a fervor of dramatic possibility).
The next: our wings are casting off a shawl of clouds,
and I remember the snow that morning
wisping, smoking, roiling
over the asphalt in eddies
that run before the car.
Cataclysm in microcosm,
Lilliputian gothic.

And then suddenly, in the air,
the whole world is pollinated,
not lit but stained with a vivid heat,
a heat to shame flamingoes.
An even line of windows -
staid monuments to modernism,
a love affair with form -
cast hot, tigrish lozenges across the ceiling.
I consider how to write it, this Roethke.

The revelatory, the stuff of Pythian ecstasy,
just beneath the mist of the daily.
The sunset. The awareness of flight itself.
And then again:
the sin of it, the constant forgetting.

A flawless moment, despite the exhaustion,
or perhaps because of it.
Fixed in the sky like Rumi's ruby,
A metamorphosis, pursued by a god.
Pierced, fleeing, stilled:
night and gothic Scotia behind us, below us.

Except this: we pressed westward,
beggaring all description,
so for a time, however brief,
the sun seemed to be rising,
before the turning of the earth
became more urgent than our progress,
our flight.

Astonishing to think
for a time it was not.

One Response so far.

  1. Like I said in the last entry, this is the first thing I have write of this ilk in more than a decade. I am still futzing around with it quite a bit, and would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    For instance: although I like a number of turns of phrase in it, rereading it as a whole, it feels a bit too end-stopped for me. I feel like this prevents it ever falling into a fluid rhythm. I will continue to futz.

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