Twice First Light
- New Born Horse
In winter before light it’s impossible
to guess what I’ll knock into next.
A lamp in the shape of a ship goes down,
its lightbulb in a short white passion.
I love the frail
tintinnabulations of a broken
bulb so appropriate for someone
walking through his own dark house.
There’s no not shivering
anymore than there’s not
ringing a bell in winter
without breaking its coat of ice.
My canary, uncovered in the kitchen,
starts its day-long distillation
of yellow and song. Along the shore
flags are going up. Before dawn,
the sea is never far off,
just across a stubbled field
where a new born horse rises
on its clattering nexus of legs.
- Water Cold and Slow
In morning before light, lights
take on the second glow of second moons
above the rabbit-nose-pink of snow.
A young girl with her thermos filled
walks to the frozen pond with a broom
and skates that clack together, slung
over her shoulder from long laces.
Any mistake in her first ice figure must be held to, like jazz, a twice-
song; Ooh, I need you. Imagine living all day
in your first movements—turning on a light,
another. I would take her pure loneliness
of walking across an untouched field of snow,
the snow once melted, twice frozen,
nearly holding up under my weight.
All I have are these small incandescences,
the hands’ first pain of water
so cold and slow from the tap.