Where snow burns off to steam, three men in black jackets
are still fishing the frozen lake while the surface softens
under them, each fish a silver glint in the grey underlight
it lives in. A day of rain wears solid seablue ice
down to the brown face of rock—impassive, it closes
stone eyes to those nude dancers, winter birches,
their passing a dazzle in the sepia wash of afternoon.

Fog a blank wall broken by sudden momentary flarings
of weeds, reeds, wet fences: the world made abstract,
a flat shine all shades of grey, that impermeable word
looming looming out of cathedral pillars of blue ice,
tall columns, trees in casings of freeze, dark things
wriggling in the chill, readying.

                                                                 Abroad towards dusk
in a world of tidy snowbound houses—each safe
in snug colours and double glazing—to feel forlorn
and exhilarated as night comes on: motel signs
lighting up, neon bars, small towns, doors to knock on
with a clear conscience, not a sinner on the streets
dense with their air of guarded welcome for the stranger.
A sense of thresholds; possibilities singing in every direction.