If I opened this window, this batter-worn
weather wood in spool iron-twine framing,
the fogged November air of last semester's
oceans would rush to fill space, rush
to cling as dress shirt linens in
cramped, hallowed spaces, folded, creased
with gunpowder starch.
If I opened through this post-adolescent haze,
reaching brassy bouquets of all love and wordly
things' gold embossment, raised print of
names, helvetica signatures writ on water's
ever-shifting slate, there would be no reason
for longing's tender spiral to draw on.
If I opened eyes to the wishing white
blind, to settle upon dying, ruby red
back lights in Station Mall parking
lot snow squalls, the sketched lines
would wave of mercurial separation
stirring below-zero echo of Calvary stain.
There is a charging flame, submerged in fractal
formed winter's skating rink ice, rippling through
the colder air, a kind that stains lung in
tarpit bitter snap, a kind that calls for
summer's breath, the light of Maidan chants,
or some centre square of Budapest.
Alas, alas, these dead-end cheers are no such
thing; the hoary slogan goes, “next time shall be
better, I shall be more noble of strength to
stand, not this rattling colt of shaking leg”,
and one can always speak its half-heard form.
The thrashing-thrown crunch of dead leaf last
call, flaring shout in boot sole time
beneath waves of crystal pattern turning
about, lone flag flapping as
fastened cheesecloth, as imitation
striped stars, sounds out but spirits of '45,
of '68, of '89, in reading of wrenched
machinery gears dripped in bounded blood
unspilled, for the cowardice of my
heart and time.