Smothered up in gauze, the sky’s
been healing for a week or
two, conserving its basin of gruel.
The shops have closed
in sympathy. The ferry’s ministrations
barely mark the hour. And just
when we’d convinced ourselves that
beauty unsubdued betrays
a coarsened mind, the fabric starts
to loosen, lift, and daylight,
all unblighted, takes a gaudy good-
night bow. What sodden
indistinction just an hour ago had all
but persuaded us not to
regret resumes its first divisions:
slate from cinder, ash
from smoke, warm dapple-gray from
moleskin, dove- from
Quaker-gray from taupe, until
the blackwater satins unroll their
gorgeous lengths above a sharpening
partition of lake-and-loam.
Give up yet? says the cirro-strato-sable
brush. Then watch
what I can do with orange. And,
floodlit, ink-besotted, so
assails the upper atmosphere that
all our better judgment
fails. The Alps? They’ve seen it all
before. They’ve flattened
into waiting mode. The people?
Flat bedazzled. But,
in fairness, had a shorter way to fall.