June Gloaming, with Time
I stand before a great tree.
Tell me how to read these stars.
These pinioned desires.
Is life all shade and shape
And the great softening outline?
We see the other’s thoughts,
From the outside, how like a tree
Withstanding a breeze it withstands
A name passing through it. Not a leaf
Is left unspun. Yet still the vast unmoved
Outline. Still the shadow lengthening
Across the afternoon’s single road.
One night was your hand
On the small of my back,
A cloud’s rondured syllables
mumbling almost a word in the dark.
Full Moon and Firefly, early June
in my backyard in an hour’s calm breath
a lifetime of moons can flash in and out
of memory too many to count how many
might we get meanwhile a found penny
rolls slowly copper color up
this one slow night’s dark spine
On Drinking a Portuguese Wine on the Last Night of June
This is how the month tasted, too. Full and lush on the front,
a vacation rental that is not too big or expensive but rich.
On the back, like the sound of surf slipping through the sand,
the taste of something going away, complexity escaping completion, dry on the tongue.
In a mind as mild as an eight o clock sky in early June
a thought swoops by like a swallow or bat
too quick for me to identify it by flight pattern
though it’s a thought that swerves and starts
again and once again after something unseen
not a thought that travels distances well but I’m not going far
content on the porch of my consciousness
a small level space on the outside of a house
I will never enter. The breeze
in my mind comes from someplace else and the thought banks impressively
in the same way logic sometimes makes us think we have direction.
The mind sky’s crayon color is half time and half heavy air
and despite its endlessness the thoughts flying in its late afternoon light compete
for an even smaller piece of space
held by a memory the size of a twilight’s tremoring bug
something I cannot even see but something that feeds the thought —
the whole reason the thought took flight is that this is the time
the memories come out of the earth and rise;
what they are doing there I do not know. Inside my house
in each room ceiling fans are rotating just above lamps shaped like leaves.
Perhaps they are turbines of an unknown will, a helicopter fleet in reverse
trying to keep the house from flying up in the air as it eventually will
like the tiniest memory of something bigger than my life
rising into the chasm of June light.