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The Bright Empty

I see the silver bay blinking
Under the influence of tall buildings,
Tossing out window light
Like the banter of well-meaning women.
They say their good-nights
With reassurances of constancy.
More light: fire in flight;
Fireflies filching firelight
In the heart of man.
I remember when the night was dark.
There were places you could walk to,
And once there, you could be anywhere.
Nothing grounded you, oriented you
To houses or highways.
Even the trees gave up their shapes
To the persuasion of night.
To find one, you had to feel the bark,
Like calloused flesh, and look up.
The tree was a hole in the web of stars,
The only light on moonless nights.
That was a thousand miles from here,
Or maybe more;
A thousand years ago
Or a little less.

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This Is How They Talk

There's another part, always,
that doesn't want to go,
a shape more practiced
than my humble sincerities,
my tilted resolutions.

I forget to relax my knees,
That I should soften my jaw,
take lessons from the glass,
from the sidelong blurs,
and oblong silhouettes;

take in the everyday words
That clatter around my body.
I should brush against these threads,
learn their girth and texture.

This is how they move,
in great thrusts, driven
by asteroids and thunder.

This is how they talk,
in echos and gasps,
looking right at you.