A Gift


A gift

Fathers come and go; mine just went it seems
long ago; blood and little else between us:
the watch unfastened from his wrist in Coyoacán
he gave to me when we first met that once.

stopped working years ago. I must have tossed it. Things
pop up from time to time, not always evident
the way some things are always there. Verhaeren's poem
tells how the living clock runs up
then quickly down a stairwell built of hours.days.
The Sun goes off
behind accumulating clouds this morning;
reappears; it seems seduction, then the going
under Earth again as if the word 'indefinite'
describes reality, as if life's rhythm
is a romance without end. Yet rivers are not
stepped in twice. Time and I will not begin again

even if my father floated in a kiss good night, which he won't
or poet Verhaerhen fall down counting hours
which he did. Images of loss, rough
drafts with more than half left out, what went before
the make-up hours at the drawing board. The ambiguity
come down to this: life's unambiguous
pain's a gift that brings back mini-odysseys,
events endured, and yet the non-stop minutes hesitate
most surely at what isn't, always there.

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