from The Double Dream of Spring (1970)
The song tells us of our old way of living, Of life in former times. Fragrance of flowers, How things merely ended when they ended, Of beginning again into a sigh. Later Some movement is reversed and the urgent masks Speed toward a totally unexpected end Like clocks out of control. Is this the gesture That was meant, long ago, the curving in Of frustrated denials, like jungle foliage And the simplicity of the ending all to be let go In quick, suffocating sweetness? The day Puts toward a nothingness of sky Its face of rusticated brick. Sooner or later, The cars lament, the whole business will be hurled down. Meanwhile we sit, scarcely daring to speak, To breathe, as though this closeness cost us life. The pretentions of a past will some day Make it over into progress, a growing up, As beautiful as a new history book With uncut pages, unseen illustrations, And the purpose of the many stops and starts will be made clear: Backing into the old affair of not wanting to grow Into the night, which becomes a house, a parting of the ways Taking us far into sleep. A dumb love.