You menace, you specter, you shadow, you––
bear? No, airplane! That one’s an elephant.
You vapor, you veil, you gloom, you mist,
I see you, dragon! Your tail, like this!
Muddle, obscure, puzzle the lot. We name you anyway,
cataloging images like suspects’ mugshots: cirrostratus,
arcus, shelf, roll; towers of cumulonimbus plotting hail.
We can’t resist forecast’s temptation to fate; foretell
this foreboding, foreswear it true.
Shapeshifter of heaven, where are you? Count me
in, you said, and left when we reached nine.
Our heads followed where we kept losing them. You
were the nightmare horizon, wandering lonely;
hold my unknowing and sing a feather canyon.
We’ll cross ages like you do these skies.
Melancholy idyll, romantic torrent, ominous calm.
You annihilate language, and still, we can’t keep
from naming, even if nothing holds beyond the
first sound you inspire: Ah! Oh, what is this
but the beginnings of awe, and here in this
open field we fall silent, planting alleluias
and waiting for rain.