This Ambiguous Hour



Hail and water

breath of a runner

greenery in the park

jaundiced and dull

how the night creeps forward

like an actor’s death onstage

in pancake makeup he expires

fresh-faced he inhales

the critics’ applause


Joy spreading spilling

straining under the weight of finitude

artifice reigns greater than life itself

calm cannot be found around us

in this dark pleasure we yield

to the tyranny of our luminous flesh

until it withers and fades


Now I see your fatal glance

cast fleetingly at my face

you startle the heron and kingfisher

hunters on a summer prowl

for food and sport

we amuse the gods as jesters did kings

I bow only to the royalty of dreams


Rumors sweep the waves away

from their steely telos

we run run run into the sun

immune to heat suckled by the light

this is Apollo’s poem let us recite it

as our blessing at this ambiguous hour

let us imbibe it as a hearty ale

spilled across this festive table

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