Against the Blue

Against the Blue


A moment
for the spare grace
of altocumulus,
bleached and liturgical,
but not 1/2 a chance
to re-read the fine print
that doesn’t extend
the warrantee,
the lifeline that
the grey actuaries,
in their monks’ robes
have calculated re
the return on coverage,
down to each unseen
quark or fermion,
every associated iota
which will be called back
to rattle around some other
portion of the dark
can of creation.
The cosmos racing,
by our latest count,
for close to 14 billion years,
to pull itself apart
somewhere else. . . .
As if walking down
a long museum hall,
faces of family
pass from sight, gone
with the great masters
and the high self-portraits
hung in the hall of clouds,
held briefly in mists,
rising through the loose
atmosphere of the mind. . . .
Then the cirrostratus
with their thin inscriptions
untranslatable as ever
before you’ve run out
of time to cross the sticks
and stones of childhood
off your list, to cross off
middle age in the church
and ashes of hope.
Even if
you still hear Ben Webster’s
“Time on My Hands,”
it’s just ghosted flutters,
wispy striations of notes
stretching across the fading
sheet music of the sky.
Nothing remains
beyond the capriccios
and gratuities of light,
beyond white caps
wind-whipped and
marking the lost way out. . . .
Contrails, starched-white
streets of cirrocumulus,
razor blade of sun
at the horizon, and
there you have it,
your unmarked map
to saunter off with
against the blue.