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First the Mast Broke

                1.
First the mast broke—
  driven 300 miles off course
Then the engine overheated
   and a makeshift mast blew away
in the dark
                2.
I can’t tell you anything
   about the course of the sun
or the depths of the moon
   the release of hidden springs
or the earth’s best illuminations
I can’t dispel the night
   or find your cold hands
Ask me to be silent
   I have lived through troubles and toil
Through sorrow I have aged too soon
No clothes, no robes, hide my changes—
  no girdle or wreath
A gentle breeze goes
  from orange, gold groves
marble figures gaze at me
A mule seeks passage through clouds
  The cliff rocks plunge beneath
and lemon blossoms glow
   He loves her for her color
as she fades into white leaves
Silver scissors like a beak
  that flies with the crows
My lover is a thief
  Her tears, whatever their bitterness,
were never so bitter as mine
                3.
Crystals of time—
  For all this suffering
you might as well be wise
  Some cats are friends,
some cats are killing machines
Much of what we see is random
  I’ve said it once
I won’t say it again
  We sat up half the night
swapping yarns
In the middle of a comedy—
  but you’re not very funny
The indifference of the universe
  to humans and other dumb animals—
ugly, unhappy, degenerate
He didn’t know or care
  if they listened
He knew no one much would listen
  She finds lots of lovers
but they don’t love her
No defense was needed...
  I’ll sleep on the train
The motion sways, lulls me
  This was her madness—
inappropriate pauses, unrelenting sadness

 

-February 12, 2012-