Not in Matter

Rain Steam and Speed, The Great Western Railway; J.M.W. Turner

I have abstained from grief these past days.
Now the rain approaches like a slow train,
summer in its carriage. Now murmurs roil

against me and I am invisible as servants
in the back passage of a manor house where God
is assumed to be upstairs at rest. I have amends

to make. Biography ravels through a thicket of old
desires into the chambers of my dilatory heart.
I remember grace, a song unfolding in the airless

channels of a self-starved soul. I could not stay.
I had words to bequeath to a troubled son,
warriors to engage, a challenge to primary cause.

Imagine the unbearable waves feathering back
to a fecund ocean, the uncertain particles on either
or both sides of the gate; imagine the decisive light.
Imagine it all again: the longing and the knowing.