June 8, 2017
It's not often that I see the sun rise
and set on the same day as I did the other day.
It's easy to tell which is which
even if you just emerged from a coma -
the rising is a theatre of silvery air,
and the setting done and imbued by gold.
On the morning I'm thinking about
it rose over a low cluster of clouds
then burst forth and lit up the sunny side of everything.
And when it went down, it went down
in a cauldron of molten metal
and seemed to shudder in a foundry of its own making.
When I lay in the dark that night
I imagined the sun shining down on Asia,
always rising and setting somewhere
waking some people, sending others to bed
as it does in that love poem by John Donne.
And I thought of the sun advancing
in its own grander orbit, a father taking
the family of planets for a ride through the Milky Way.
What a brazen wonder to be alive on earth
amid the clockwork of all this motion!
This was in Key West. It was January
when the early morning hours can be chilly.
I remember putting on a sweater
then stepping out onto the deck
with the newspaper under my arm
and checking out the water and the sky
before lighting up a big El Stinko cigar.