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Strange how several directions of the mind
arrive at the one conclusion. For example,
on a late afternoon in August when the wind
riffled the cast of light across the lake
I looked out at the slouching sun and noticed
that a thunderhead hovered in its place,
brooding above the lilies on the water
as the pergola receded toward a darkness
into whose texture everything kept slipping
as if it were being tucked inside a pocket.
I heard the starling and the cedar waxwing
in the myrtle make their bickering complaints,
but though I could still see the tree line rising
at the lake’s edge off in the middle distance,
the landscape dimmed and retreated as the tide
of dusk washed over power lines and rooftops,
sweeping the back lawns, muting chairs and shrubs;
I stood at the corner of my porch and watched
the garish lees of sunlight drain away
in garnet streaks behind that thundercloud
as cars grew indistinct, and still the tide
encroached on the water tower’s silhouette,
on the rhetoric, proofs, and premises
of fading cul de sacs and other dead ends
where objects and their absence slowly merged
at the margins to advance their argument,
contracting the mind around a central notion,
the tide of dusk whose only end was night.