Tuesday, July 27, 2010
ABOVE THE FALLS
Watch them on the footbridge
above the falls
that keeps us from hearing what they say:
he leans on the lake side, looking far across,
she, above the falls, looks down.
We can imagine what he sees
is moving with the water to the falls,
that the reflections of the trees, the clouds,
the docks and houses are a swirling
surface-film distorted as it
pours, silken, over the lip. Or
we can decide she feels the colors
bleed from everything behind her,
and that the brittle pieces of it
crash, continuously, at her feet
like an infinite stack of dishes.
He’s crossing to her now, his arms
around her from behind, his
fingers buckled at her waist. Look:
when she turns to him
he turns his eyes away
as if he’d begun to blurt the truth
then clapped a hand to his mouth.
She touches him dishonestly and gently.
We can imagine reasons
why they do not love each other
anymore; we can infer,
by their doubling back
the way they came, the touchy
mutual denial their conversation
had to steer around
to stay together one more day,
but neither of us, even now, knows
anything that either one of them can say
to make things right again.