"A sparrow falls by providence, and the evening sky
is smeared indigo. I won’t repeat our darling word
dusk, since breaking old habits is a new promise.
Sometimes the heart locks, before it dangles, ready
for releasing. Something in the amorphous shape
the trees espouse at this time of day is a resistance
to anything particular or complex, as if a more subtle
variation were possible. A toning down of contrast
makes the hour we named for us a kind of yielding.
‘We are something’, you say, and I try to believe.
But even as I write, the sky’s streaks fade, the burls
of cloud formations begin to disappear, obeying
Newton’s third law that for every act in this universe
there is an equal and opposite one. Today I walked
the streets, observing what I’ve missed of late—
a white magnolia in full bloom with delicately scented
petals, chaste as Ophelia, among the topiary plants;
a house in ruins becoming some ugly new development.
And, of course, I thought of us—that hole we cut
in the stillness of evening, when the heart is disposed
to abandon the thought of never wanting this to stop.
The heart is mute but cries out in protest: Be free,
what are you afraid of? Advice I tested last night
at the Opera Bar. I kissed the princely lips of madness:
Hamlet himself, after the proscenium. Not yet drunk.
His eyes, untamed, a little lost, perhaps. I trembled
but he didn’t seem to mind, and I was glad, recalling
a soliloquy which speaks of fate’s occasion being fickle,
how the end is ever present, how the readiness is all.
The harbour slapped softly, in Luna Park the Ferris wheel
turned. At least every so often, it is good to tremble.
And somehow the moment cured me of the incomplete
metaphor of madness I had taken for myself. So moments
change us, the evening bleeds and bruises. Words come
to me as freely as a sparrow falls, unfastened by the sky."
© 2010, Michelle Cahill