montale :: rick barot

The shadows get to cover
the afternoon. Even birds
are folded away. A green
squash on the sill, the heart
full of seeds. The blackthorn,
berries pulped to blood

on the ground. His sleep
is one portion of shadow,
a thing cobwebbed in a corner,
something to be worked
over and over. One strand
for the kettle, the pewter-color

rain. A strand for the room,
the orchards, his father
opaque as a lover within them.
Under a tree the wadded coat.
The way back to somewhere
is only a wish until waking.

Then the darker fall, gust
of whiteness. The tree a lung
spread on the window.
All night, the lawn snowed upon
blue as a shirt. Each instant
recovered, meant to grant

clarity, though what we wanted
to see has now been forgotten.
No further, and no return.
Not even the ten plagues, what
each body has to live into.
What the pharaoh lived.