on new year’s eve

       we make midnight a maquette of the year:
frostlight glinting off snow to solemnize
       the vows we offer to ourselves in near
silence: the competition shimmerwise
       of champagne and chandeliers to attract
laughter and cheers: the glow from the fireplace
       reflecting the burning intra-red pact
between beloveds: we cosset the space
       of a fey hour, anxious gods molding our
hoped-for adams with this temporal clay:
       each of us edacious for shining or
rash enough to think sacrifice will stay
       this fugacious time: while stillness suspends
vitality in balance, as passions
       struggle with passions for sway, the mind wends
towards what’s to come: a callithump of fashions,
       ersatz smiles, crowded days: a bloodless cut
that severs soul from bone: a long aching
       quiet in which we will hear nothing but
the clean crack of our promises breaking.

Evie Shockley, “on new year's eve” from the new black. Copyright © 2011 by Evie Shockley. Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: the new black (Wesleyan University Press)
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