Observatory Point

 

I follow our old path along the rocks.
The freezing lake sprays over my shoulders
gathering me back to the very edge
where we first watched—my whole body
trembling outside my will. Footprints and feckless
promises disperse and disappear between the floes
where our fantasies emerged, where our youth
cannot be relinquished, where our souls' secrets
from ourselves have been kept since the world
was made, where that morning we all embraced,
where now I revisit alone this gatepost
   against the northern wind

What shattered images retract into the dishuman space
of that whole world colliding and dissolving on the rocks
as I chip away in a rage for one fleck to transmute
into a jewel the further to shape some small treasure
of this abiding chill and the flashing of one face
like the lighthouse flashing, like a receding star
   however small, distant, lost

 

Lake Michigan
Evanston, Illinois
1973