Lake Effect, Spring 2006, Volume 10: Desperate Note from Byron's Palace in Lerici

Richard Jackson


Desperate Note from Byron's Palace in Lerici

In the blue wind the leaves begin to think they are birds.
This is when you lean your body against its sorrows.
The truth is always there with its hidden reefs.
Your touch still hovers over the shore. Each wave is
a mirror that washes in a past we wanted hidden.
Now our voices are roosting in the branches.
Everything is echo, or shadow. Your shadow
walking on the other side of the street, your shadow
sitting in a passing car, your last words casting
the shadow that has replaced my own. Where have
we been that has brought us here? The past burrows
into me like an insect. The tree frogs, after tonight's
rain, fill the woods. They throw their voices
so predators can't find them. The old truths are
falling from the branches. The old dreams wash up
on the shores of our souls. Sometimes I think
the soul is a shadow even gravity can't touch,
and love is what passes in the mirror as we look away.