Unswift, but curving to the hand
(like the sound of a bell, returning to the wrist)
a longed-for voice, turning up or down
at the end of a phrase, a frieze
of stick figures crowding all one way,
glyphs marching lemming-like to cliffs
and dropping, one by one.
If she came back to me, to be hooded or flown
at some bright chase, what could I say?
I would know again the slow drip
of incapacity; I would see again,
in the hollow of the moon, the hand
emptying, fading, a vanishing disk,
wearing away, fraying, consumed, a shell
of turqoise fading into violet, of cobalt
fading to lavender, its threads unraveling;
this old, this ancient, this sorry harridan,
more beautiful than any girl, more wise
than any master. Walk on. She follows,
an inescapable, unobtainable lamp;
she follows, this bruised eye of love.