Tone


                                    (1)

Nothing that exists can be
temporal; still I come to lay this stick
upon these altars, those three

definitions of sun, the border and thick
measure of lost perfection.
Sun must acknowledge this state, an iconic

message, abrupt invention
of death; we shall call it an accomplishment,
or a causal relation.

The mask measures my intent
on a patch of earth, a spent
measure, a return, that red
unruly seat of the dead.

                                   (2)

Could the Cusan speak of love as a return,
a plentitude of absence, an imprecise
count of the dark from which he would always turn?

The binukedine know how to entice
the expansive energy flowing from grace,
an absolute measure, a stellar device.

I would propose a failed sun, a sacrifice
that spins an ambiguous body in time,
in trust to a sacred field, death's other price.

Call this, too, an intrinsic order, a rhyme
of resuscitated bodies, pure, sublime
in their perturbative intent, a concern
of rhythms and designs set upon an urn.

                                   (3)

This must be what is the case,
nani in the manifold,
dannu, milestone, the embrace

of albarga mask, the cold
design the solstice will prove.
Nothing under law will hold.

What established light will move
or change the structure of light,
light an order to disprove?

Speak of the possible mask, of its finite
correlation to love, the logical slight
derivation and mark of corrupted space,
that fugitive event that will leave no trace.

                                            (4)

Bogged in a bone order, syntax and substance
of the passing world, I place
my duge in the fragile arms of silence.

So much for the quick embrace
of the ceasing instant, the chaste argument
only the dead can efface.

Say that I have written my absolute descent
and stable transformation
through a sounding tone to one that now is spent.

Praise this instant collation,
paradox and migration
of souls without assurance
or the due gift of distance.
 
Jay Wright, "Tone" from The Guide Signs. Copyright © 2007 by Jay Wright.  Reprinted by permission of Jay Wright.
Source: The Guide Signs (Louisiana State University Press, 2007)