Honored Guest

Accept these nice things we have no use for:
polished twilight, mix of clouds and sun,
minnows in a stream. There may come a time
we’ll need them. They’re yours forever,
or another dream leaves you thirsty,
waking. You can’t see the table
or the bread. How about a clean, unopened letter
and the smell of toast?

School has closed today—it’s raining.
The calendar has backed up or been reversed
so the days have no least common denominator.
Anyway, it was fun, trying to figure out
who you were, what it was that led you to us.
Was it the smell of camphor? Or an ad
in an out-of-state newspaper, seeking news
of someone who disappeared long ago?
He was in uniform, and leaned against a car,
smiling at a girl who seemed to shade her eyes from him.
Can it be? Candace, was it you? There’s no way
she’ll look our way again.

What can I tell you? Everything’s been locked up
for the night, I couldn’t get it for you
if I wanted to. But there must be some way—
it’s drizzling, the lamps along the path are weeping,
wanting to show you this tremendous thing,
boxed in forever, always getting closer.

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