In abrupt autumn
one sees much of expectation
wither and dissipate
as if never taken seriously,
as if intentions of good will
and promises of productive labor,
— all leaving of self in favor of virtue —
gone like a good but tardy
glacier, dim and dry,
parsed to the death.
What remains is that wispy thread,
barely traceable, but more real and reliable
than all the will gathered in all the
small rooms and resolutions of change,
the thread that runs umbilical,
winding though good or ill,
tying together all the disparate selves
pasted together in the course of a life.
In this suddenly strange autumn,
in this fall, it is the unreality
that glows, beacon-like,
though, in the end, what you remember
is that carnal you,
that piece of protoplasmic geometry.
And you ask yourself, is that me?
And yet, there is memory, inconstant,
but persistently convincing.
I understand the consciousness of others,
the subjectivity of their being,
but not my own,
not my own.
Those two final lines, they are a knell, the perfect ending to “abrupt autumn”.
Thanks, Elaine. One never knows how these things will turn out.