Black And Gray

by Michael Murphy

Against the backdrop of constellations
the light is growing shorter, a mirror
turned like a face to the wall.

And passing beneath them, between
shadows hovering among shadows,
a candle and candle-flame, cupped hands.

*
Loosening your hair, brushing it out
into streams, the light growing longer, it is
like another day, as light as stone.

The moon leading us home by any route
its shadow runs at our feet
like another day, as light as stone.

*
We might be burning autumn in the allotment,
three sparrows scratching a living.
Racing apart among the dying stars

Mars and Venus, Orion and the Pleiades
looking down, break their hearts
among leaf-shadow, between worlds.

*
And water, what I thought was myself
as fire frozen in the bedroom window,
was like nothing else, nothing else again.

Black and Gray: window frames, mirrors
falling through fingers, a sieve, a half-
light passing elsewhere through the door.