Jesse Lee Kercheval

Next Tuesday

                         after Robert Desnos

there will be a single moment
when I arrive at the exact middle of my life,
a fragment of a fraction of time more fleeting than a blink,
more sudden than satisfaction in bed

And I will be aware of that moment

stretching like a long road across fields of seed corn,
leading toward a distant tower where—if I could reach it—
my flesh would last forever, resist kisses, remain as untouched by the seasons
as the moon by the wind

Instead, there will be a jolt and a shudder as my lover’s car starts up, shrieks into the night

And once again a drunk sings at the far end of the lake
And once again a feather drifts down on my empty bed
And once again my three clocks chime the same hour several minutes apart

And once again a passerby in the street turns after hearing someone call his name
except he wasn’t the one I was calling

And once again after falling from the neighbor’s tree
a marvelous apple rolls around in the gutter
only to be swept up by the streetcleaner

And once again my lover—already miles away—recalls a song,
long forgotten, and promptly forgets it again
while I am left to hum it, over and over