lanthanum 6.22


To walk a lonely stretch of Hope St., Providence
& try to collect myself for this endeavor
toward the center of the poem, & the earth...
to know that loneliness is of the essence ‒

yours, mine ‒ Blackstone’s, by his sole candle ‒
a poverty in the spine of things, a threadbare
shawl pulled around your shoulders... there,
in the mind’s eye. One ultraviolet mandorla

made of syllables ‒ at a lonesome crossroads
on Hope St. ‒ in the center of myself ‒ which is
(perhaps) also the center of yourself (promise
afloat upon the sea). My ship, my canoe (Rhode

Island wooden almond) ‒ straitened at last
through the narrow sluice of melancholy ‒
time ‒ your absence, my delusions ‒ O my
Lamp of Gaiety
, my only Gate. Happiness

implanted before all things, by You : this is
the original status quo, on whose behalf
stern Roger proffered his indomitable life
(still stands, on the cliff, under the rainbow’s

cat’s-eye marble ‒ foot planted on the bow, like
that gold coin from Constantinople ‒ Anthousa
with a rose, foot shod by the prow ‒ Argo);
shaded the silhouette of a continent (one

aching arc). All these figures only filigree
for simple math, & plain geometry ‒
invert the envelope of solitude, toward mercy.
My guest is smiling at the gate (waiting for me).


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