Powerfully quiet magic hushes the world.
Only Memory disturbs the night’s calm.
Spring’s last snow stretches tight on the earth.
No people, nor cars, a basket of silence;
but the past creates its chaotic clamor
even in this desert of frost and darkness
making the mind queasy with reluctant remorse.
The Great Unlived What Might Have Been looms:
the vivid eyes of lovers with forgotten names,
bullets that missed by just enough,
so many impossible wrong turns taken,
forty years of working your way up to nothing,
even indigence raised to the level of art.
The cat snores on a shelf by the window.
You are caught alone in your personal mythology.
Your secret lies stick in your throat,
all of them, both futile and necessary,
all the things you killed to stay alive.
You are the archaeologist of your being,
selectively opening the book of your life
to carefully chosen pages, leaving some unread,
dreading the frightful precision of their words
that scream out, nothing means much more than anything;
and the whole tale might be told differently
reimagined in some furiously redemptive light
before the frangible spell of alternatives
is broken by morning’s disappointment, the
matutinal sun sweeping magic off the gelid drifts.