Tough Enough

Like this one, and maybe this one, you no longer fear
losing membership – dressed oddly, or
disregarded. In a bell jar
with the world, alone, naming it for the first
time, in heaven without angels. If an audience
didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent one.
And after all you pour out to them, you’re still a mirror
in which their faces change: the self they recognise
is already another, disoriented
by the continuing beauty of alteration
You leave them to sleep into their new moods
while you disengage, disguised as ground mist or
a venerable, out-of-season orchard, anything
useful but not available. You’re there for them
although you prefer the company of animals and plants.
You’d rather address the night, as it inhabits
first the trees, then the creek beds, and then the cities
inside each head. Too far away to see your hands
moving as you talk, your hairy friends
shift comfortably, listening, distant.

From Baysville