Commitment to a Fog
for Jean-Jacques Boin
as it rolls in on a downdraft
and settles in the nooks and flats
of the lower hills, their green saddles, and then
comes that slow spilling into the gorge-rent valley.
One could inhale such fog
and be healthier for it;
I mean, to paraphrase the man tied up for his own good,
my mind is fog-bound, the foreground's enshrined
and the background is all pastel under a spell of gray:
no telling if they're houses out there or foggy notions.
I've inhaled the better part
of a year of fog and that might be a decade.
I mean, in the language of fog,
the indistinct seems particular
and all the dead—so bright and sharp, so clear-headed,
so loved in their lifetimes, are caught again in my fog
as if I'd given them my condition.
Drastic Dislocations: New and Selected Poems
Copyright © 2012 by Barry Wallenstein
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission