If only, we think, decline could be
absolute as its reputation—
a sinking by slow foretold degrees
behind a cliff brightness
backlights to black,
aweing the mourners’ glances
with Turneresque shades
of sepulchral attrition....
But no—subsiding whispers
to the too attentive eye—
I’ll not be held to a schedule
of decay, denied my tricks and reversals,
my kit bag of paradox.
And so, with dusk already clotting,
a ray shoots straight out
from the distant wall
through a crack no ant could navigate,
or a glow suffuses clouds
from below, an expected effect,
but not in hues of freshest peach and
rose without a hint of melancholia.
And now, merveille des merveilles,
the disappeared white disc pops up
again above the rim,
wobbling with a shimmer akin
to heat haze, but it’s no mirage:
blood reds and fateful gloaming are done,
it really means to climb a triumphant
arc back again, cross sky’s
stock trajectory and undo extinction,
paralysing with joy
and perplexing resignation.