That city will be no more, no halos
of spring mornings when green hills
tremble in the midst and rise
like barrage balloons—
and May won’t cross its streets
with shrieking birds and summer’s promises.
No breathless spells,
no chilly ecstasies of spring water.
Church towers rest on the ocean’s floor,
and flawless views of leafy avenues
fix no one’s eyes.
And still we live on calmly,
in waiting rooms, on airplanes, trains,
and still, stubbornly, blindly, we seek the image,
the final form of things
between inexplicable fits
of mute despair—
as if vaguely remembering
something that cannot be recalled,
as if that submerged city were traveling with us,
always asking questions,
and always unhappy with our answers—
exacting, and perfect in its way.