Difference, Difference

Gravel path stirred by the rain
fallen hard through the sweetgum trees,
path that leads to the bend
where the trail splits open in air:

Everything is lighted evenly.
It is a queer hour. The difference
between light and shadow
is the jealousy turn in the eye.

The sun is all in the bottle cap
that glints in the silt like a djinn’s brass hilt,
in the way some lea  is frozen unto the air,
some warm leaf heavywet here, and in how, just there:

The strangeness strangely passes.
And evening mounts.
I can’t get the life out of my head.

There is no glamour on this path
but if I return I will find it
in the thought of how I looked for some.

I stoop to look at the veins that sweep
like Latin roots in the satin of things, dream:
The difference between something and nothing,
which is nothing.

The gravel lies on itself like dust lies on water.
No, no, there are no mothers here.
I bend to see it all, the little stones cast-wise.
Things chase themselves away from the mode of things.

I find a quartz, milked clear:
I could not hear its accent if it sang,
no matter how far off it formed.
What dead hand I should feel if I lifted it.

More Poems by Christine Gosnay