At night the old city
below shimmers, the electrical lights
like faint stars (sometimes you can make out
a few familiar streets, or the cathedral
towering over the cafe.) Millions of years ago
all this would be underwater at a sea depth
impenetrable to light,
even the high cliff where I am standing now
an ocean floor, host only to blind things, albino...
You were never so present as in this absence.
Night, and a stray cat crossing the open yard.
Night, and a broken wheel of planets and stars.
Dark trees swaying, ghost-like,
as if inhabited by souls (a childhood memory).
--A sudden flight of birds, laughter in the distance,
dark freckles across a passing stranger's face
shaped like your own.
This is what you've become:
the flower's throat, the neighbor's hand--
in tenuous, beautiful resemblance.