Sun-up off easterly casings prints a first
Sheet of pink, soon-to-be-cancelled commemoratives:
Liner with tugs, the old king’s midair medallion
Balancing a new moon’s in the next frame.
Or it’s an edifice of frames and valances,
Noons, twilights, seven to a floor, arranging
For views (12:30—G at the Flèche d’Or)
Of someone permanently opposite,
Whose wallpaper is change; thin rain, the tinsel
Flocking of today’s. Antagonist
And tenant both, across this neutral grid
Green and red forces monitor
She’d meet your eye. But names, claims, fleet o’clocks
(Pick up opera tickets before 6)
Forming between you like a frost,
Or like the TV’s electronic blizzard
Phasing to terror in a ski-mask
Whatever cozy personality,
White out all glow of her interior,
All recollection that on high
Reigns cloudless glory, moon just past the full,
And stars. Unfelt, they even so
Strike through cover to the date. Tomorrow’s
Four edges flush with a great furnace door
Go dark. Already the last act? One fugitive
Beam from that first, half-mythic dawn
Degenerates to limelight Dalibor
Falls bleeding in. Check. Don’t make his mistake
And wish on the wrong crescent, lest her pawn
Turn queen and—Thunder scores. You’ve barely, now,
Wit to unriddle her new name, and wake.

This Issue

August 18, 1983