Crossing the Moon

For Bruce


Get over it: death. Watch

the waves of light in the shimmering

leaves as they pass from

the sun through the garden,

then into the body of life —

here, where I am, close

to the end but not done,

poems to write, loving to do,

mornings to sit on the porch

watching walkers and dogs,

remembering comrades,

reading today’s papers.

sipping yesterday’s coffee 

in the green of a paradise,

the ease of a peaceable

kingdom of ends, dreaming on.


Brimming with light, the garden

stands in for the soul, a vastness

within, the numberless worlds

we all move among, witness

to what we are given, what we will lose, 

what we all know is always to come —

here, where beginning and end

merge into one, and, hand in hand,

the antinomies dance as if young.


The ending is nigh, always nigh —

mine, not the world’s, soon

to cross over, as  the clouds did

the moon in skies I remember,

with women whose names I forget.

So what? So sue me, as we said 

on corners in Brooklyn, the dead

cracking wise in the wintry cold

or on summer nights under the elms.


So many gone! Ghosts at my shoulder

watching me write, sipping stale

coffee, growing faint in the light.


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