Sun’s First Suspension

The morning’s unexcused
absence can lead to another,
then another, and
still another till

truncated days are
all we get. Our children’s

children will dream of civil
dawn the way we long
for a pristine shoreline, pine
forest, subway wall, guitar

riff. Saudade
for time of day

as much as for a place
or soul we never knew
renders us
human all over again.

Pillory

“Lap and drag. Crag and gleam.
That continual work of wave
And tide, like a wet wind, blowing
The earth down to nothing.”
—Tracy K. Smith, from “Minister of Saudade” (in Duende)

When laws of motion become lairs,
it’s time to reconsider the quarry

and what it might hold. She stopped
buying bathing suits when she learned

the truth about limits. Love
lies at the bottom

of the bottomless. There she’ll be—
denying her need

for oxygen. Not a little death.
Not a death at all.

Downtown to Uptown

To me, this doesn’t rhyme:
“And the rural route
I can never get out.”*

Last day before daylight
saving time is a spoiler
for spring. First long walk

of the year
without a jacket
unveils last fall’s

aroma being transmitted
from the ground.
Moving away

from the river, I wonder
how saudade can get so landlocked.
Everyone who came

to my birthday party
at the Uptown Bar and Café
that first year

to drink Jägermeister
and beer is dead—
including the Uptown—save me.

* Darin Wald, “Not to Me” (from Big Ditch Road’s Ring)