Full Circle

By Peter Halstead

Even in this perfect spring the air appears
to sort itself in circles, as the light culls
dust in Maelstroms made by devils.

In the widening circle of these nuclei,
in the vast revolving miracle
of the galaxy, a cyclonic eye

of human making splays,
through the displaced breeze,
its devastating haze.

Even in this perfect spring
the atmosphere is laced
with helices and scattered wings;

even on the best of days
it rakes the waste and spatter
of the sun to raise

whorls in the wind and leaves,
those spirals of dark matter
and accreting griefs,

an entire country fading
in the wheeling rips
of tidal surge parading

down the lavish April sky,
while the fate of feet and lips
is scraped from ruts of shade

to lie, terrible and drained,
unless on the gutted street,
stations of the angels lamed

by concentric sheets of flame
in this facsimile of a place.
Today nothing is the same:

color leeched from the Charles;
summer washed off the faces
of adolescent girls

in the harsher adult light:
anchors pulled up by gales,
childhood withered in the night,

and our fragile, flying world,
drowned, shivers with the sails.
Nothing is today as pure

as sunfish tossed on harbor waves:
boats that made the mornings sure
look today like shaking graves,

or rings that from a diver spread,
the boomerangs of time and space
newly risen from the dead.

April 16th–28th, 2013