background image
the heat lightning 263
an old `silver'
harness buckle, a heart shape
set in the center, catching
the half-light where it bulges --
a bit of the bold old
fi nery of a set of harness.
I take it down. The heart is starred
with corrosion, dented on one side --
the whole buckle's bent awry,
across the concave underside
a spider has stretched a web:
in the quiet I can hear
the strain and give of the fabric
as I poke at it ... nothing
underneath but a trace of fi ne
reddish dirt. I blow it out.
Regarding in the half-light
the heart's convexity, I consider
(in the heart's half-light)
taking the piece home with me....
The buckle and such scraps
are like the notions surviving
in the gaunt, brittle, half-dark
interior of an old man
and the barn an old man
lasting into this other world
maybe in a subdivision
in California: he has come out
to live with one of his children,
and runs the power mower
once a week. He actually
cuts the grass, the barn
really shelters a truck;