The bleached corpse of the afternoon
mutes the surface of my window.
Pinned to the wall, a peacock feather
pales quietly in its light.
Minutes trickle by. Outside, a man
presses his face against my door
and whispers. Frustrated cars
roar and slide around the building.
The day haunts the walls with drowned hands.
The windows of the house we left,
lit through the trees of old, anonymous neighbors.
My father hammered that deck together,
braced the basement walls and floor,
laid quarter-ton supports in the terraced garden.
My balcony hangs from the third story.
In summer I’d submerge there,
naked below the railing
in warmth blazing featureless and blue.
From this cold-knuckled crouch now
in our overgrown old yard
no motion shows between the blinds:
only vague lines of golden light.
London lit by bonfires and pulsing with riot.
The squares rage with whistles and the pouring mob
desperate cabs bob in the traffic;
bobbies losing helmets swim horses away.
The lights burn on under a yawning New Year.
Where the crowd breaks,
or splashes to vapor,
the city does not notice.
Our years, our tides bathe it
only as mist bathes stone.