A Sum Of Destructions

By Theodore Weiss

The amities of morning
and the buxom habits of birds
that swing a bell-bright city
in their intelligent wings;

last night’s squall has
drawn off like anger’s tide,
the remote and muffled waters
beating solitudinous rocks

and murmurous
in the hidden parts, ebbing
and beating, of the mind
as some half-forgotten name . . .

the rain has withdrawn
like the tents and the Greeks,
like the hard-to-believe-
in days of our childhood.

Light moves, the whole
massed flotilla of morning, kin
to the upward flight of birds
and brutality,
the hungers and the hatreds
seem fabulous, seem members;
the gouty rat and straggly

root collaborate. Earth
in wounds, deaths, decays—
past hours its rutted crusts—
with the billowy sky

is the field-
upon-field, and all one,
of one master observing
the various fruits:
a child in a cage, inferior
bodies making a passable
road, a girl passionate

with pain, an old man
watching the earth escape
like his once endless
strengths, his poems head-

long. And one fills
with awe—as the town
with morning, every cranny,
the birds brimming fire-

escapes and broken windows—
that the earth like some wise
breath never balked, a many-
membered bird-flight,

should include all,
must be a terrible good.
The eyes passing,
contracted from night

and war the stars
undertook, finally emerge
the topgallant of morning,
and those eyes roam

free as the Greeks:
wherever a drop of water
is, spindrift city of water
gleaming, there is home.

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