The Simulacra

They were driving into the mountains, suddenly married,
sometimes touching each other’s cheek with a fingernail
gingerly: the radio played ecstatic static: certain roads
marked with blue enamel numbers led to cloud banks,
or basalt screes, or dim hotels with padlocked verandas.
Sometimes they quarreled, sometimes they grew old,
the wind was constant in their eyes, it was their own wind,
they made it. Small towns flew past, Rodez, Albi,
limestone quarries, pear orchards, children racing
after hoops, wobbling when their shadows wavered,
infants crying for fine rain, old women on stoops
darning gray veils—and who were we, watching?
Doubles, ghosts, the ones who would tell of the field
where they pulled over, bluish tinge of the elms, steepness
of the other’s eyes, glowworm hidden in its own glint,
how the rain was twilight and now is darkness.
More Poems by D. Nurkse