When light seeps from the old albumen prints
time lingers there, like someone waiting for you
on the seashore, or the river's edge. Small
whirlpool eddying, full of hints and glints
beckoning you to step through the sepia scene.
This was the feeling in the high Siena room
where frescos (radiant in evening gloom)
stood waiting quietly for you to enter in -
where the maidens turn their eternal ridda-
ring, and Justice (regal, adamant, serene)
holds sway (merciful minister) and
Pax, insouciant, leans on a useless shield.
What was it, exactly, you wanted me to find?
It must have been a twirling riddle-game -
a Gorgon-knot, enigma of the Ever-Same
(its figures veiled your whisper, undefined).
And like thin silver rain through the mercury
the farewell trumpet taps against a screen
of 5th-month memory - all that has-been
derelict can summon up again, a requiem
of history (his own). And as a wheel
of moss-green circuitry creaks once
more (around, around), an octave-sense
lifts fifty stars toward flagging Jubilee -
the milk of sadness trembles in the midnight sky
again, the everlasting evening star gleams out,
still there - a folded promissory note (lone heart's
defense) sets sail, its sea-worn prow an eagle-eye.
Fontegaia limps forward.