For Nine Days Does the Anvil Fall: Four

As far below as above
glances fall then look up, not
at all love but something else,
something rough, unpolished, dark,

not for us but forcing it-
self onto surfaces dust
touches only to get rubbed
off, not mirrored yet not far

from seeming three beings trust
only narrowly washes
with its relief, more nervous
than even we to be false

          witnesses, its protective
          agreement vanishes, bails.

                    ⁂

Vivid paleness not enough
in lurid swells from pastel
under inkiest duress
gets vomited, smudged with char,

in velvet sinister marred,
this encounter of ours but
one step from some ledge, some lodge
from which ministers embark

toward us with tenebrous
thoughts, here in this corner apart
from the world, with elusive
motives only felt chills tell

          of how others before wove
          from shadows tales to fill shelves.