I know that when the words are clear and bright
nothing else is, as the milk of street lamps
dims out the stars, but I can only keep echoing my own footsteps
longing for brightness, for streets lit by the stars alone, dark and shining.
I want to learn the language of these trees that line my streets, dreaming upright
all through the dark till light wakes in them and crows slowly
make their own blacks out from the dawn. But the words of trees
are so large we cannot hear them. I want to make them out
from the hungry waking-up of the crows
in the dawn coming from the bay, like a song
of the light itself. I’m stranded in our dream of learning ceaseless
ripple-waves of language I cannot quite but always almost
can make out the words of. Words care-fully,
like marsh waders in silvery after-dawn light as the tide comes in
meandering to shore, picking their way towards us.