Our one forever,
when it stole through the red gates of sunset
left over from autumn, and the dead brown grass
is yet vibrant with the cadence of the song you might have been.
No longer mired in waiting to begin.
They tell us the night means nothing,
and the candles their light the light.
Nothing is hid that once was clear,
then gone and then to come:
all the time, except the split
What is there to say except to lament.
You live in the wrong place.
There’s no flowering time to come.
The hands fell off my watch in the night
and you counted the time
from this instant.
This Cento contains lines from the following poets:
Kenneth Rexroth, John Koethe, Lola Ridge, Brenda Hillman, Martha Collins, Melissa Kwasny, Katharine Tynan, Esther Louise Ruble, David Yezzi, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Jonathan Galassi, Michael Goldman, Robert Francis, and Lucille Clifton.