Just before light,
Dark-boughed nightmare
Steel in the sky,
Rime in the air
And void made real
By ice somewhere,
Ghosts made flesh
By godless cold,
The whole world
Turned to mesh
By the pure abstract
That gives us white
And black,

Gorges in mist,
Heavens abyssed,
Roams the dawn
And outlines snow
In sepiachrome

That will disappear
At daybreak,
Overwhelmed by sights,
The sun too sheer,
Too full, to see the flakes,
The freeze invisible
In a smear of lights.

The darkened woods
Are mostly used
To such landscaped
Burned and dodged
By snow suns draped
And camouflaged
In a whitewashed cloud
Where image is mirage
And only gouache allowed,

A world off-gassed
To spikes and shards,
Where atmosphere
Itself is verglassed
Into land's veneer,
Where oxygen is organized
Into permafrost,
Its paradise erased,
Its limbo lost,
A frozen planet made of skies,
Its open spaces vaporized,

Breath itself stopped silently
By white, slowed down so
The paralyzed can see,
Before the stunning blow
Of sun and day, the infinity
Of shade and light that vision
Only takes away.

Rue de Varenne
April 1st–4th, 2005