The year revolves again, habitual as a ring
inscribed and turned round your finger. Circular
and forward as the face of a clock,

dumb to repetition, its own
Sisyphean rock. January brings
in the old feeling, anchors the blood,

which is all the body can renew—something
in the cells says yes when our mouths say no—
the onward push, foot to the floor

of existence. An upward glance—
the typewriter key sticks again,
spitefully spoiling the ribbon—

the cells go on, so who is to blame
for this awful business of living.


The sun balloons in the sky, growing colder.
Through the window the air still feels
like summer—the water in the bay

still a blue that promises warmth,
though the sun that lights your room
is changing. Boston leaves hang on like flames

resisting extinction. Soon they will quell,
fall towards the earth, make themselves over.
Just as the body that sustains you gives way

to the carnival taking place inside
your brain—the inaudible crescendo
(or do you hear it?), that final giving in

when the blood vessel breaks—all life,
all memory too.