Feigning a Fine Fettle

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Forget what you had

Hopper, Excursion into Philosophy 1959

Excursion into Philosophy – Edward Hopper, 1959

Strains ride on billowed

Winds, traveling from somewhere

In time to this place

 

Like a dream slipped through

Narrow straits, like the sand that

Slips the hourglass

 

To rouse heavy lids

And to crank the mind awake

From memories locked

 

By years forgetful

Of a face and a feeling;

The heat warms the gaze

 

And the yearn to grasp

What is no longer there to

Hold isn’t hollow-

 

Like a tunnel, the sun

At the end, echoes play off

The walls, the warmth real

 

But so far away,

Merely a fleeting whisper

In this lost moment

 

Before you awake

And find the window open,

Your book in your lap-

 

Dimly realize

All of it is far behind

You and can’t come back,

 

That a lingering

Trace, a warmth on the cheek is

All that still remains

 

To feel in this state

Between sleep and wake because

The music is old

 

And the faces are

Now vague, obscured by the years

Between now and then,

 

All these fleeting days,

The fragile hours that spin

Into other thoughts,

 

Into other pains.

Looking outside the window,

Now awake and cold,

 

Cold despite the brace

Of the sun shining upon

The living, your sight

 

Beyond what was lost,

You close your book and forget

What you had forgot.

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