Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Elegy

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Elegy

Article excerpt

Wind buffs the waterstained stone cupids and shakes Old rain from the pines' low branches, small change Spilling over the graves the years have smashed With a hammer - forget this, forget that, leave no Stone unturned. The grass grows high, sweet-smelling, Many-footed, ever-running. No one tends it. No One comes. . . . And where am I now? . . . Is this a beginning, A middle, or an end? . . . Before I knew you I stood In this place. Now I forsake the past as I knew it To feed you into it. But that is not right. You step Into it. I find you here, in the sifting grass, In the late light, as if you had always been here. Behind you two tom black cedars flame white Against the darkening fields . . . . If you turn to me, Quiet man? If you turn? If I speak softly? If I say, Take off, take off your glasses . . . .Let me see Your sightless eyes? . . . I will be beautiful then . . . . Look, the heart moves as the moths do, scuttering Like a child's thoughts above this broken stone And that. And I lie down. I lie down in the long grass, Something I am not given to doing, and I feel The weight of your hand on my belly, and the wind Parts the grasses, and the distance spills through - The glassy fields, the black black earth, the pale air Streaming headlong toward the abbey's far stones And streaming back again . …

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