John Dickson (1985)
Dark storms of the afternoon persist
until what little day there was has gone,
but she still lingers in his eyes
and seldom lets him sleep.
He has grown vulnerable—
a turtle with no shell,
a bird trapped in the cat's hypnotic eye.
Her shadow has left its imprint on the wall.
A scoop of coal revives the fireplace
and melts the chill that harbors in the bone
but soon releases ghosts of mastodons
and fish and flying reptiles
pressed in their carbon matrix since that day
when some upheaval trapped them in their bog.
He lives his life inert, compressed by time
growing steady in his orbit
and established in his ways
until somewhere on this journey
he is making to himself,
she returns to him to set his head afire
and all his million years of words
escape at last to keep her warm.