You travel under
cover of darkness

that lifts for the length
of a one-street village,

a hill farm scoured
by yard light.

Then night comes
down again in sheets.

You feel tired and cold,
a fire inhaling its own ash.

*

Why, as soon as the unacompanied
cello suite begins, am I conveyed back
to the brittle wintry airport road,
your newly-widowed mother driving,
my arrival coinciding with a glacial
dusk, with the one customer left
to moderate the plate glass expanse
of an Arby’s Sandwich franchise?

Regret is the hamlet across the bay
against which waves beat their brains
in winter, having lost all hope of change.

A door bangs. A cigarette sign swings
from rusty hinges. A slow piano theme
is rehearsed like an excuse.

*

As the Friday-evening bus speeds from the city,
moonlight restores wildness to the fields.
We place our fate in the driver’s hands,
having offered up our fares, hearts,
spinal chords, endocrinal glands.

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