The earth, an oblate sphere, slows down,
Second by second, in its erratic, elliptical orbit,
As molten, metallic seas slosh around its interior.
The moon slides in and hooks onto twigs,
The fingertips of the beech, which assess the dark air.
I live in an as-if, subjunctive mode
Since our lives dropped their indicative.
A fraction of wall still stands nearby,
A fraction of my crumbling will.
Rocking, I draw a pail of stars
From the East River, which turn to tears.
My friends have all died or moved away.
The sky is snowing ash.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 22 Number 6, on page 42
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