Louise Gluck




Island

The curtains parted. Light
coming in. Moonlight, then sunlight.
Not changing because time was passing
but because the one moment had many aspects.

White lisianthus in a chipped vase.
Sound of the wind. Sound 
of lapping water. And hours passing, the white sails
luminous, the boat rocking at anchor.

Motion not yet channeled in time.
The curtains shifting or stirring; the moment
shimmering, a hand moving
backward, then forward. Silence. And then

one word, a name. And then another word:
again, again. And time
salvaged, like a pulse between
stillness and change. Late afternoon. The soon to be lost

becoming memory; the mind closing around it. The room
claimed again, as a possession. Sunlight,
then moonlight. The eyes glazed over with tears.
And then the moon fading, the white sails flexing.