The Isolate

He waits in this empty
room for a poem or perhaps,
here in this garret, a thought from God.
The room’s light casts back
at him a mask, half in light,
one eye—bright
enough from shadows, a room where
there is a this and an is:
coffee mug on a desk, desk
cluttered but solid
where a penciled hand scrawls
or waits to scrawl when it can know—
whether picture or poem or graffiti
is not yet visible nor will be until;
a few books to explain
known which isn’t much
of coffee mugs,
pencil sketches and why a desk
is solid enough
to hold a hand holding a pencil—
though this is only perceived.

The other eye, the one in the dark
the one that must be
there, but is not or just barely
visible in the deepest
deep shadow, is shadow itself
of the dark in which all that is or
is not known of the mountain
still unshaped by morning,
(it must be there from memory
and geography books).
And somewhere in the dark
from which this eye may or may not
wink, the only glint, perhaps, in this
shadow eye, the only glint, Venus,
is a distant glitter that can explain
no better, no worse, than her rival, Mars,
how love works, a distant glint
with her only hint of all
the dark behind the mask,
behind and beyond the mountain—
still unseen—and definitely beyond
even her own careless
reflection of its sun.

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