Denise Levertov


Tempered wood. Wrought light. Carved
rags. Curdled gold, thin
sheets of it. The leaves of it.
The wet essence of it infused.
Effluvia of gold suffused throughout. The saturation.
The drying. The flaking. The absorption.
It is a paper sack, a paper sack for dogfood, dry,
the dry wafers of a sacrament, a sacred sack,
its brownish pallor illumined, inscribed with red,
upheld by a many-layered substance
plush as moss, chocolate-dark, dense, which is shadow,
and backed by a tentative, a tremulous
evanescence which is wood
or which is the tardy sungleam from under cloudbank
just before evening settles,
that percolates through cobwebs and thick glass.
Which is the fleeting conjugation
of wood and light, embrace that leaves wood
dizzy and insubstantial, and leaves light
awestruck again at its own destiny.