C.D. Wright

              in our only time.

“ Follow me,” the voice, the long, longed-for voice stops
the writing hand. “I have your shoes.” Except
for a rotating fan, movement at a minimum. The plan,
if one can call it a plan, is to begin in what is known
to some as the perennial present; beginning
with a few sentences written in a kitchen while others
cling to their own images in twisted sheets of heat.
A napkin floats from a counter in lieu of a letter. Portals
of the back life part in silence: o verge
of song, o big eyelets of daylight. Leaving milk and bowl
on the table, leaving the house discalced. All this
mystery, mildly erotic. Even if one is terrified
of both death and the color red. Even if a message is sent
each of us in secrecy, no one can make it stay.
Notwithstanding scale—everything has its meaning,
every thing matters; no one a means, every one an end

              until words turn to moss.

This was all roses, here, where an overblown house crowns
the hill, the whole field, roses, all the way to the end;
when the rosarian died, the partition of roses
began. We’ve come out of nowhere, literally,
nowhere, autumnal towns marked for destruction
by a phantom hand; houses held underwater, every bed
a sunken tub, tools drowned between rows, every keyhole
caulked; clouds hallucinating girls asleep
on a wedge of wedding cake; the white rose,
among the greatest of liars has begun
to show the debilitating effects of fame,
the ever-popular blaze placates a vase; the bad sons
of thunder beating back a strand of light; someone
who knows nothing apart from the rain
standing on a chair in muddy legs; the roses
blown into their cumulonimbuses,
and someone whose glove is recovered, a face
that doesn’t come clear, a face drawn under an umbrella,
beautiful, charcoal, beautiful, like words
that never get old, the sons of thunder beating