Henri Cole





At night by lamplight certain insects,
floating or flying, in black or red or gold,
emerge like actors, vaguely apparitional,
in the ordinary space of my room.
Last night, they did The Tempest in a frenzy,
demanding I play Prospero and forgive
everyone. "What is this!" I moaned.
Dear unnatural Ariel, I loved him,
the island setting, the auspicious revenge--
how could I resist? The rain came down,
filling up time like sand or human understanding.
It was as if I were dreaming or dead.
I forgave my brother; he forgave me.
We huddled together in the dark backward of the night.