On the Disintegration of Clearings
for John Ashbery
By what pale names we flutter. The thrush lay
stunned. (Did I kill it?) Now the blossoms shift
to ash. By what shall we be consoled?
Details. Floating minutia. Hazes of place
and time. Not exactly signs, but still.
Yours was an exquisite violence.
(Unintelligible, that bird, but at least
approachable in death.) Forgive my doubt—
How sad I am, swimming in this mirror,
this film of light crowning the abyss.