Silence (Long Island Sound)
The solstice moon drifts in silence past the terra cotta titans
Arrayed where the trees had been against the sky.
In its eagerness to rise it collides with the tallest giant,
Sending his crown crashing into the garden
Amid the floating fireflies and nodding lilies,
Pulverizing the musk of that day’s new blooms.
Her voice, my God, her voice: Had she spoken during this
I could not have heard her, though I listened and, indeed, heard nothing else.
In the settling dust the fireflies wheel against the
Pulling the stars behind them, and the solstice moon
Like a spawning salmon of wild eye and flashing copper scales
Resumes its climb up the cascading clouds.
Amid this thrashing I strain to hear
That voice which too seldom speaks
Even in the perfect stillness of those syncopated moments
When the conductor holds his baton aloft
And the violinist stays her bow:
Then sometimes can be heard that soft,
Whispering fragments of a sacred text which, if assembled,
Would replace the music for all time—
And which, even in shards, sets the stamens of the flowers
To quaver in the still night to the frequency of the logic
That throbs through creation
And arrests for a fine pregnant second the clockwork stars
And their harnessed teams of fireflies,
The docile leaves, the now curious moon.
She speaks at last and I am drenched in a mirage that, with
the closing of her lips
Upon the last sibilance, vanishes into the waiting trees.
Speak again, cherished woman, part your lips again;
Today’s lily is bare to the staring moon, and I yearn to hear your secrets.