And then at night a seam in the clouds appeared through which a single faint light shone as if for me and by extension - reflecting my dim (but still evolving) understanding of love - you, wonderful you.
And the morning passes in a light rain, a fine and steady hush rising as if from fields grateful to be studied, and the dog's tracks by the back door fade, and the many grackles become one bird and soar from north to south in uniform grace above the fallen goldenrod and the last of the wild morning glories.
And bookmarks perceived at last as a special form of readerly love, forever saying "here, here."
For you took my hand and led me up the hill to the cross - the wisteria-shrouded cross - and then beyond to where the sun set over towns we had never seen.
Smoke rising, redolent of deadfall, oh always we are faced with one lesson.
In a vision I build the fire low so she and I could get close to its transformational crackling, tucked beneath the old quilt Aunt Muriel made in the 1960s, kiss by kiss evolving into that timeless love against which night - and even winter - only deepens our resolve.
Oh let us release all late summer crickets forever from haiku and renga and all the other well-intentioned but ultimately ruinous forms (and the beautiful but confused poets employing them).
The dog coming breathless out of the bracken is grace as snapping turtles scuttling the causeway are poems and the apparently perceptive self is merely an excuse for fragments of the whole to be recollected in a lovely, in a redemptive - in a yes, there, yes - way.
I don't care what the sky does but I do give attention to its doing, its movement, which is a way of saying that when we fear our bodies (through hatred or otherwise), we lose the one who loves us well beyond them.
For I await the image - I imagine grace, I imagine naked - because for a little while longer holiness must yet make itself concrete by taking form, which is all the image is: that through which we perceive what is Formless again.
And then I will lay myself down beside you and my hands will be light and the whole afternoon will rise and fall, rise and fall, as so gently you open, so breathlessly entered.
I walk a long time slowly going deep into the forest with an ax in one hand and a small bag with bread, apples and a bent tin cup in the other and the forest welcomes me then as a brother for I am not separate from it, I am no longer beholden to the lovelessness of thought only.
The stars manage to find their way to me through windblown pines and I can only hope they are as generous with you, for whom lost is another kind of animal - dark and prone to hibernation - entirely.
I go as far as the brook, stopping on its rocky banks in darkness to think of the ones I bring with me, and - more tenuously - those who have brought me with them - and then go on, up the hill into the fields, and at last home to boil water for tea and roll out the sourdough, the cold kitchen a lovely friend to one so long accustomed to the interior Lent.
Oh and the train two towns away, those low and hallowed moans, wending north through yet-deep forests, a thousand years old and getting more so by the moment.
I wait twenty minutes or so in P.'s garage for him to finish his call with the builder, poking through his toolbox (comparing it to my jumbled own), running my thumb through the dust on his gun rack, grateful as always to be asked to help anyone.
In a way, "piss with and not into the wind" is damned good advice, applicable in any situation.
On Saturday I shot seven glasses of whiskey by the fire, midnight or just after, showers of gold sparks ascending into rain-kissed pine limbs, doing the odd dance I do when it matters that she know how much I love her still.
Stopping to watch poplar leave spiral down towards me, while chickadees and red squirrels pause their winsome antics to watch me, no doubt pondering the meaning of such a puzzling and obviously dazzled biped.
How sweet sometimes to get sex out of the way so you can go with her anywhere, given to the vastness transcending kiss or letter.