My Siamese cat’s left a brown
snake, its back broken, on my desk.
The underground throbs outside my window.
The black highway of the river’s crinkled by a light
westerly blowing down. I want to give praise
to the coming winter, but problems
of belief flare and buckle under
the lumpy syntax. The unelected
President’s on the radio again,
laying waste to the world.
Faith—that old lie. I drag up
impossible meanings and double divisions
of love and betrayal, light and dark.
Where on earth am I after all these years?
A possum eats crusts on the verandah,
standing up on its hind legs.
My weakness can’t be measured.
My head contains thousands of images—
slimy mackerel splashing about in the murk.
My failures slip through fingers pointed
at the best night of my life. This one.
The cold mist falls, my head floats in a stream
of thinking. Eurydice. Did I fumble? Maybe
I was meant to be the moon’s reflection
and sing darkness like the nightjar. Why
wouldn’t I infest this place, where the
sun shines on settlers and their heirs
and these heirlooms I weave
from their blond silk?
from The Goldfinches of BaghdadFind more by Robert Adamson at the library
Copyright © 2006 Robert Adamson
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.