Entering the House Late at Night

For a moment I stood in the cold of my house
and didn’t know who I was. The light
fell on me like soft rain so I turned it off.
Then my shadow had no way out of me
and stayed inside like cruel thoughts,
waiting for words to awaken them.
But there were no words because there was no light.
I stood, as I had before, at the bottom of the stairs,
forgetting the simple smile of flowers,
the short-change of the sea, the bent-backed,
hard working rain, forgetting even my own shallow breath.
The stairs rose up before me like mountains,
the kitchen shivered, like a man who suddenly remembers
his own death, and in the cold of my house
a broad river ran through me and into me and around me,
and in a moment I came to the sea of my own death, and saw
in the dark the dark swan rise from the water,
black lightning carve the white mountains of clouds,
an invisible moon drop hissing into an invisible sea.

(kz 1996)

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