In this off-season, summer folk go south.
Emptied, the town resumes its own dry ways.
The hermit imagines the priest reclined on a chaise,
Sipping some mystical cocktail with vermouth
While waves fall on bright sand. Endureth, endureth—
He sings the word, that thing the word of the Lord does
Forever, while all flesh goes on being grass.
How could he ever forget it? Bitter death
Accompanies him always, though now, everywhere,
Through cold leafmold, the new green spear-tips thrust.
Each spring’s a wound before it is a birth.
The church is locked. Life cuts its teeth in the earth.
Where can he go to receive it? The souls of the just
Rise in sap, cry out in silence. Here.