Tonight, in the hum of every street lamp,
the melody of the lost. Maladies
hang on beyond the dim, sour haloes
in which moths get drunk and poets' ghosts limp
on game legs gone bitter with the night. Damp,
grass seems to glow at the feet of statues
cemented to the center of town, lies
of generals and statesmen, not an imp
of a poet, blind in stone, among them.
The night's an orchestra and what it plays
isn't a music meant for anyone
a statue would be built of. Given time
and words enough, a blind poet's ghost sways
to night's music, absolving everyone.
Light over a field of rape, the clouds
precursors of something they can't name.
Such color requires more of us,
desire obstructing what's known.
In Turner's skies, lust would feel
at home. All that raw miasma
of color and light just to hold in air.
A shame, to think without Turner
no sky would've held such passion.
The world has nothing that comes close.
This gauze of air winds around
men and women who walk through it
and leave their likenesses.
The past must be like this,
all faint after-images and denial,
though memory won't keep a body
bandaged and whole and warm.
Grief is a hieroglyph scrawled inside
the body, its bird head
looking off to the horizon,
as if a rigid line could hold some solace
a body could breathe in and live off.