We sleep, lament, content, in the city of public squares, Where I saw my spirit trapped, snared by torsos Who whisper of youth as recourse. Of course I tried to tell them, occasionally stepping Down from this barren rock where no poems Grow. The sounds in my ears Were clouds low overhead. Emptiness- this is the courage, A feeling like being choked, To be locked in this, this scene Above which I hold no other. Speak of it and about that Which they have no knowledge By the fire, while the train keeps bearing down On us weighing down what might Be left to sing in our nightmares. You knew, and I know, but without caring, We will walk all night, Treading water in the red light, In what is falling through us. And now, each night, in sleep The bliss lays heavy- fades, And thought never comes, the dancing Lights of gray and white. That’s why you taught me tears. After weeks of strain and sickness I didn’t find what I looked for, Not knowing what it was, yet Knowing I will lose it if I learn What I know. But for now, Here, in this city of delicate surfaces Aware, this once, as I will always be, Among the dead packed immaculately Away, there’s no despair that could quiet You. Through innumerable choruses Soaring higher than we could ever climb, The thought of pleasure pleasing Flesh and bone opens with a yawn, And the world goes on The way I always felt it would. Again, waking at dawn, The sweep of it, taking courage From silence, your silence Letting drop my bright eyes, accusing. Little did I imagine then These images remain with us every day. Dawn breaks. It is only the sun But we carry the weight of middle-aged trees Diseased along the streets and boulevards. Here sadness takes on abstract shapes Light scrabbles at the open door. I breathe. I am not asleep. The light screams into tightly held secrets Of those dark spirits who lie still, still dreaming.