There are the sick rooms of the nineteenth century
and the faces of the dead in photographs.
There are the symphonic forests of Germany
with dark brooks running through them
and rocks for the distraught to lay their heads.
There is the mantle to lean on,
a grand piano lit with candles
and a small leather volume of The Arabian Nights.
And there is always rain, days and nights of it,
the caretaker sleeping in his cottage,
the handle of the wheelbarrow dripping,
a woman in white filling her glass with wine.
And for you, there is the look of the table
you rose from only moments ago, the way
the light from the window seems to weep
on the empty plate, the book of matches,
the thin grape hyacinths in a terra-cotta pot,
as if the light could feel your absence.
That is the way the light will shine
when you are gone
on all the places your shadow might have fallen:
on a café floor where you could have waited
for someone who was late,
on a lawn where you would have stood
in the green chamber of another summer,
or on a warm run of beach where your shadow
might have reached forever down the sand
in the last glow of daylight
while you surveyed the vastness of the ocean,
hands locked behind your back
in the manner of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa.