Even the light crumples in this city, let alone
the restaurant menu thrust from street corners,
the river trying forever to straighten its creases,
the raveled sleeve of care, the knifing of a king.
In some back kitchen the witches are crumbling
a bag of ears into the soup. In some back alley
the washing machines are muttering at three a.m..
The river tries forever to straighten its creases.
The deed is done. But does it smooth the wrinkles
or shrivel the dark to a thudding heart, to a skip?
Or does the dead, the deed, slip in between the turn
and the twin? How can we bear this trying river,
this crumpling light in the city, this let alone,
if all our heeding doesn’t end with a beheading?