A swagger of night-wind. Headlights
float on the ether. Trees seem
uncertain in their purple undress.
I owe letters to various friends,
but I feel the distance between us
expand as the universe expands,
our atoms dancing in a vacuum,
the starlight dimpled like toad-skin.
How can I wrestle the night-wind
to its knees and make it cough up
those abstract bat-winged terrors
that tease me when I shut my eyes?
The TV groans in the next room,
blue light flickering. Neighbors titter
in the hall. A door slams. An engine
turns over, reluctant and whining.
If I could pin one icy star
to my forehead and let the cold
burn right into my brain I'd know
why Freud told the truth and Jung
told what gains in the telling.
Lacking that cosmic vision,
I concentrate on the texture
of wind and trees and headlights.
I want to drive a hundred miles
and listen to the Atlantic crush
on a frozen beach, but the ease
of such Miltonian salvation
is deceptive, devious
as Brownian movement, each fact
so distinct it signifies
nothing, salves no pain if caught
for one sly moment at rest.