Night of the Bitter Moon

Through pale air it spreads is way,
Across the patterns of earth,
And then, of a sudden, intruding
Upon my lips and tongue, exuding –
A taste of dry light, racked by the promise,
Into me going and then, once more, spreading.

I sound the golden trumpet:
A pledge of dying, a search for tomorrow.

My stomach is churning, the anger outgoing,
Revolving; insidious demarcation of loving
And damning; eyes lit and reflecting
But never quite knowing —
Absorbing without comprehending —
A sponge to be wrung by hands that are cracking.

I sound the golden trumpet:
A search for tomorrow ‘midst ashes and darkness.

Leaving me now as if from a mirror —
A hospital ward cleansed of germs and decay —
Now alone and brooding,
Stooping to polish or straining to conquer,
No better than before (but better tomorrow?),
I close the curtain. The moon has set.

No more echoes the golden trumpet:
Failing to heed it, I no longer sound it.