- Vol. 10
- Chapter 06
We take a break from our work
restoring the old church window.
Standing on the front lawn we wait,
you on your phone, my eyes on the sky,
a bent world where the moon should be,
massive, a horizon unto itself.
Stunned by the vista, I pull out my phone
to take photographs, shoot video.
I call your attention to this world before us.
You look at me, but your mind’s clearly on your phone.
“It’s sublime,” I say. “Truly sublime.”
The flake white of the clouds,
the cobalt blue of the skies,
the bladder green of the seas,
all bearing down on me, more than I can handle.
Then the storms come, crooked columns of lightning
crashing around the rim of this world,
followed by a flurry of shooting stars.
I must document this, I think to myself.
Finally, a tidal wave rushes across the world
like a white whale, like a counterpane,
from west to east, as I watch in horror.
I have all of this on film.
Before me, again, the old church window.
Step by step I steadily approach it.
Something’s going to happen.
For every step I take, a year passes by.
Spring gives way to summer gives way to fall gives way to winter.
The wind stirs the leaves in little self-contained hurricanes.
As I get closer, I see all our work has been undone.
The flake white paint’s flaking off,
exposing the purple-gray wood beneath.
Decaying in real time, the weathered window waits for me.
Terrified, I walk up to the cold dark pane of glass.
I know that someone or something
waits for me on the other side of the window.
Suddenly, like a mother-of-pearl cameo,
like a reflection in a darkened mirror,
a face, pale white, flashes in the night.