from Tithonus

by Alice Oswald

      as soon as dawn appears
      4:17 dressed only in her clouds

      and murk hangs down over hills
as if guilty

      two rooks quite high above steel
blue still a star
      and something similar to laughter
moves up from below making ducks
      two sounds you can hear at this
tucked up hour
      when a man rolls over and pulls
his grief to his chin and his feet have
no covers
      first this: the sound of everything
      then this: the sound of everything
      as soon as dawn appears and the
river without interfering steals into the
      bleak shapes of the last efforts of
the night
      and half formed faces float out and
vanish too undulating to be actual

      as soon as a voice goes on arguing
in its sleep like a file going to and
corrosively fro
      doesn’t sound like a man sounds
more like an instrument’s voice very
      so the thought goes on recycling
itself and the mouth opens and the body
begins to shrivel into something more
      which is me old unfinished not yet
gone here I go again