Anne Michaels - LAND IN SIGHT

All day the sky
whispered into the sea and the sails
would not fill. On the pier,
dogs drank the air dry
with searching tongues.
We were seared wherever clothes
revealed us. Down the boulevard,
shutters clapped loud against the sun.
Children slipped messages through the slats,
flecks of paper drifted into the street.

All through the city love looked for us, through
the crooked Altestrasse, under Lenin’s balcony,
past the terrace where Goethe drank his coffee.
Into cafés where coolness turns its key
in a shadow. All day love followed us
as we climbed, from fountain to bridge.
A gull hovered as if
broken. All day love drew its finger
across my belly, ascended my damp spine.
I kept turning my face
from its breath.

The city woke. Dogs unfolded their legs
and stood. One by one, shutters parted,
glimpses of voices
pressed the air.

The same loneliness that closes us
opens us again.

Like hair loosened by the sea,
slowly the darkness opens into darkness.