I
Obeying some fond
horrible summons,
as of the dead springing
under the ice,
I pour a kettleful
each morning, gash
their foe, and watch it

squeal with thaw.
Up! Jump! Here!
The spell whitens,
an eye clouds over.
Below it frogs, roused,
glimmer, false dawns
their ritual extremity.

II

Nothing dates like a vision
of the future, but how can we tell

what sort of past is to come?
The autumnal clock in the hall

lined with coats, scarves, Lepidoptera
one pinned wingbeat from jumble –

the clock which, carried downstairs
at a perilous angle, once fell –

instructs no one. A pity. So
many differences are fractional.

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