Sunday, February 15, 2009


Lightning removes the geography of the sky,

leaves the town shivering in the subjunctive,

caught in that instant when things

have not happened

pigeons not yet scattered from the eaves

might have happened

was that a footstep on the porch?

were still wished for

daylight, and shadows no longer

loom and lurch down alleyways

It might be nothing at all.

Words have become something I do

to keep my commas apart,

what I use only to say

what things are not.

It may be that, exactly.

The thunder's boom far gone

over the sea, and you, for a moment

lending me the wise levers and fullblown roses

of which you are composed.

It should be like that.

The moment when verbs happen in only 

one tense, when the shocking light 

banishes all pretence, 

and we can see perfectly well how this town is made

of little white houses each standing utterly alone.

Mark Aiello