The Mysteries of Aurora


It is never winter where Aurora lives.
The trees keep their leaves to themselves.
Aurora likes to move through the world with the light
On her face. Like the wife of a president,
She wears a scarf and dark glasses.
But Aurora mourns nothing not even her childhood.
I don’t know whether there are always flowers there.


When Aurora says she is an open book
I think of the Kabala and other such texts —
Or my dream of another alphabet
I could not read in which I wrote my work.
Before I knew Aurora I traced petroglyphs
And dinosaur footprints. Now I picture
Her skin covered with invisible symbols.


Aurora tries to hide things in bright places
Where she thinks I cannot see them.
Aurora is that kind of magician.
Look over there she told me
That cloud looks like my birthmark.
When I turned she was gone,
But I knew which cloud she meant.


When solar particles collide with
The atmosphere Aurora parties till all
Hours of the summer night — Aurora likes
To dance, and I am nasty at the edges
Of the room where young men compose their texts.
Aurora gives out her number but seldom answers.
With Aurora even the echo would be half itself.


How unreal, Aurora, a hider in the night,
A personality breeding amid the rookeries
Of stars. Sweet self, how was it
I ever held her, that she held me above
And between saying yeah and oh yeah?
And morning kisses in the garden with coffee.
(A songbird hit the window of the room I wrote this in.)


We walked between the double rows of the plane trees.
I wore the shirt with the pattern she loved. She gave
Herself as only she could. Her auburn hair in highlights newly cut.
Nearly autumn. The leaves in the gutters scuttled in the breeze.
Soon the rails would sing an aubade to the station. Past Aubervilliers,
Flatcars and ridelles idled on the siding. I believe their emptiness
Cheered her for departure with thoughts of their possible cargo.


I live in latitude where the day is brief
And sometimes I sleep through it,
And waking in the middle of the night
I say Aurora is a water glass,
Aurora the pillow, Aurora the blanket.
I think of all the things I have to tell her.
Aurora, the mice who were our witnesses are gone.

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