Weather of Days

By Gianmarc Manzione
Originally published in The Southern Review 42.3 (2006): 483-484

And especially afternoon’s certain
vanishing, its immunity
to human departures,

noon no more
mindless than usual today—
a whiff of pulled weeds,

a kitchen window fogged
with scents of tarragon
and thyme—

who wouldn’t wager a life
for that vast amnesia?
Who isn’t betting on

some eventual adjustment
heralding the end of regret?
Look, even a day’s carriage

of leaf-shadows implies
a kind of inconstancy.
No weather tampers with

the sure terrain of the future.
No late season falls
from trees there.

Yet what if
even the mildest
expectation is unendurable?

What if everything is this
indeterminacy,
this traffic of possibilities?

I, too, have yet to see beyond
the ledge of a prayer, trespass
my life’s sequestered districts—

It’s nothing new—
this hour anchored amid
an undertow of

irretrievability,
trees breaking free
of their bodies in

the reassembling dark—
resilience of shadows,
ambiguous forecasts.