Portrait of Lucy with Fine Nile Jar
My torso is a cedar chest in the brief closet
Of the middle of a country, hollow
Until three young sisters
Curl there like marsupials and shut
The bevelled door and die there,
Not determined yet, into
The camphored pouch of an Otherworld.
Around this death there was a fine Nile jar
Of halo-light, where I am
Thinking of you now,
Everything; you’re all
Out of time like a nightjar In the diorama of the great hall
Of prehistory, depicting the tiny cataclysmic
Moment of some mythic, leggy
Accident that changed the world
One day, numinous as a Petrarchan
Sunflower in the night. A moment
Perfect as a bee suspended
In the perfect weather of a honey jar.
Your heart was cinctured, full, surrounded
By a hinder of restharrow
Roots, nestled in its little parasol
Of amber grief, willful as a wooden tiger standing
In an empty yellow room.
While you were leaving, I was lying, eastward,
On my back, like a pharaoh counting
The layers of muslin wound
Around my cumbrous (nearly human)
Hand, counting the days until
An evermore arrives.