The Hours

The window he jumped from
framed a grey canvas
with not even the sky painted in.

A pale featureless winter landscape,
an unruffled pool
of deep and abiding cold:

his books and the one-bar radiator
could never hope to cover him
with enough warm reasons

not to contemplate.
Watch him then at the nadir
of sadness,

the ends of waiting,
and the sum of arguments,
tidy the sink of a few dishes

and finger with resignation
the paint peeled sill
where all the questions

he no longer asked
had faltered—as now he won’t.
Consider this first movement

towards certainty,
a flight unlike a bird’s into the dark
and awful answer of the grass.

Jeff Guess

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