The moon breathes its own reflection
on a late night windowpane
then watches it shrink, a tumour
or a civilization on the wane. A needle of light
draws from an inkwell of night
and signs an arm.
The stars go off like a fire-alarm.
A tomcat howls in the alley,
an agony of evangelistic hormones,
while the poet in the upstairs apartment
ponders suicide like a rose
he wants to give his bride.
Spring is a peacock in a chimney
that longs to bloom
stuck like a heart or a word in the throat.
Love is an empty lifeboat
crushed by the fractious thaws
and icy faults of March.
Across the street from the hospital
in its memorial garden of tungsten lights,
its parking meters and streetlamps,
perpetually budding daffodils,
metal madonnas with luminous faces
peering down on asphalt,
industrial pietas of aluminum and glass,
a living man returns to his ghost
like any other Tuesday
with proof of nothing on the other side.