Apparition

 

Sometimes you visit bringing the lilacs’ stifle and chill
sometimes the earthworms’ benevolent gleam

sometimes you visit and all of my nights alone
harbor their dark as a fugitive

sometimes you visit and the never-swept dust
blossoms into brown chittering birds

and sometimes the gust of May lifts the gauzy hair
on the heads of old women

and sometimes you bring the bequests of November’s
rattling twigs

sometimes you come as a mother trying and trying
to nurse her gaunt infant

or you come as a hand placing baptismal snow
on a mountain to name its stillness

sometimes you place yourself under the pillow of
those who cannot fall asleep

sometimes you bring me a flask of tears
sometimes you show me the tombs of darlings

and you visit not because we fade into our nakedness
but because our clothes will not miss us

and you visit because soon enough you will
visit no more and nevertheless I will keep watch