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A Soul is Speechless on the Street

This feeling of sadness, which is fragmented, passes
like the junked car numbered zero next to an oak
a traveler notices through his tinted windshield.

The fact that every feeling passes inevitably
explains, at least in part, the disbelief
a man alone might come to. Or his lover.
Take Hopper’s Deserted Main Street,
not quite the space in which a soul hovers,
speechless, without a thought about God,
or beauty. What it means there
behind clapboard storefronts involves
slippery questions of light and dark sensations
which come and go, like cells, in a lifetime.
Or take the man farming along the Hudson
who is startled by the sight of purple loosestrife,
though he’s seen the wildflower, fall after fall.

Take his husband inside the farmhouse feeling
an emptiness peculiar to him, born of an event
not unlike abandonment.

There are others, unnamable, thrown into this daily
exhaustion: the boy standing on the top of his van, parked
askew in a field, the bent woman climbing steps to a bus on
Boylston. These, examples of what
we call a perishable condition.