This is the evening when a bird nests in a hat
left in the street by a flying man, a man of worlds and heat, of vellum and fog
and sculptures that lurk when we're not looking, this is the evening.
This is the moment when traffic passes as I have taught it to pass,
as I have learned the way, this is the moment.
This is the place where snow was invented.
This is the town it falls on, consisting of three houses
with plastic lights in the doorway, a man who touches his woman
as she likes to be touched--no matter how warm, always snow--
and the hand that turns the world, this is the place.
This is the life that keeps me awake at night,
its distances and skin, and this is time with its foot in a crack,
unable to move yet passing, this is the life.
This is the hour when the crime was committed;
this is the first cause watching. This is the river drowning
and a filthy shadow washing its hands, this is the hour.
This is the little fish eating the big one. This is the man
who lives by the railroad tracks; this is the train passing.
This is the mill where grain was turned, this is the grain
unfinished, and this is the empty bed of the stream
that used to turn the wheel, this is the mill of absence.
Paul Hoover (Harrisonburg, Virginia, EEUU, 1946). Profesor de Escritura Creativa en la Universidad Estatal de San Francisco State. Poeta y editor.