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In the Dark

Further information is sure to be
forthcoming, but for now
our one
recourse is
to wait, and we,

we have been,
we have been waiting now
for a very long time
for something
to become clear, although

everything remains
unclear. The light,
even the light is—
dim like the light in a basement—and these
shambolic trees

with their nearly identical trunks
tubular as organ pipes and above,
instead of leaves, a mass
of wispy shadow,
reminding me of a feather duster, at least

if you were lost in one—
do you recognize them? Are they pine trees or some
deciduous or
ridiculous species,
and is it dusk or dawn or an overcast day,

and has it stopped or started or never been raining,
and are we inside (looking out through the screen
of a screen porch in a cabin somewhere in the woods
on vacation) or out?
No one can say,

and yet just now it appears
we have it may be
by chance or perhaps
by secret design arrived
at a picture. Oh no.

We have stepped into the picture.
That’s where we are.
The trees are painted and the leaves are painted
and the water is painted
poorly. Did

I mention the water
before? No, it
has just become clear,
or rather murky. Gray,
gray as cement, and yet

vaguely giving (tap it,
it will answer like
a drum), this is
water to walk on
not as miracle but

in fact, and we are
walking on it. Walking on water,
we have crossed over the lake,
leaving the previous stage we were at
in the background in order

to enter the background
itself. Here
things loom up,
things trail off in a haze,
and everything is more or less out of scale,

with the detail, like
an eye seen up close,
either blurry or gross,
and being here, in the background, we have
become once again

unclear: just where
are we in that
blot of what
if you were feeling generous might
be a hillside or not?

It seems we must wait,
must still wait,
must wait even longer
for clarification, but no,
no no no no no, now I see

how it is: there is
a hole in this picture
where we are.
There we are
and might settle down,

might even set up a town
by the name of Good Luck
in the state of Contingency
in the country of
Impossible to Say—

isn’t it, anyway?
Yes, nothing is clear,
and yet for all that we will go
on waiting among
the fugitive colors, faint trees, ambiguous

formations, and shadowy reaches of this
picture become abruptly as real
as we are, perhaps. We
stop. We are
astonished to be

in the dark.