Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beautiful arrows striking where they will

 photo Last-Morning.jpg

Last Morning

Let us say the last morning might come as this:
meadowbirdsong thudding gently on the glass;
an overgrey sky weighing down the eastern sun;
thoughts of a poet’s fifteenth year just arriving.

Shall we hand him the quill there in the dark,
callow as he is his seasoned yearn, while Juliet
presses her poison breasts out over the balcony
and he mistakes their perfect valence for love?

It’s fitting, this, coming to such truths of the heart
as one might enter the house of a geisha, one rice-
paper door at a time, a labyrinth surrendered to being
lost for sixty years with so many turns yet to come.

What does he have to say, bent there along the riverbank
of a wet cheek, his crass lines struck out not merely to
lure the obvious, but for the dear scoundrel in a noonday
fountain never to know the depths of even a shallow love?

 photo Last-Morning2.jpg

What starswoon would embrace such a wrong-footed
lad already misstepped out over a chasm he will never
ford? And who will catch him when he falls against the
membrane that made up the illusion he thought was love?

Youth will falter youth far too eagerly and leave it to
the lessoned man who arrives at the gate hard by in a
black coach with blindered horses to cast cold water kept
from those sweetly rivered weeps so long ago in the dark.

These might provide the curious cinema of a last morning,
the blankets weighed down by a parson’s tidings, the distant
sound of human goings-on in the house, familiar and alien,
a singing girl’s voice eclipsing the crescent of a boy’s heart.

So I give the morning its due at last, call things by their true
names, fulfill the wisdom of an ancient proverb and stand my
place among the dearly befallen before me, all who dared sit
alone in the dark, its beautiful arrows striking where they will.

Joseph Gallo
May 7, 2013

 photo Last-Morning3.jpg

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