Monday, March 27, 2017

"Lament on New Year’s Day" by Joe Bolton

I used to stroll untroubled down the variegated street,
The street I knew as I knew my own mind,
Where everything was real and without novelty.
And giving myself away to the depths of things,
I was gone.

Later, I doubled back down that same street,
Perhaps hoping to find the past lurking
In that wound of a room we'd shared
In the house on the corner.
And it was as if nothing had happened
In the years since her leaving.

Still, they don't come back, the great days,
The cries clarified with distance,
The fragrant lining of a patent leather shoe
Already beautiful beyond its function.

There was a precise moment towards dusk
When the window of a certain room was ringed with light,
And the dark walnut of an antique desk proclaimed
That those who were able to save themselves
Would be twice reimbursed tomorrow for their suffering.

Now, a V-shape of migrating geese
Or bombers on a practice mission
Freezes in mid-flight and turns to blue ash
In the sky above 1986.

- Joe Bolton, from “The Last Nostalgia”

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