Where are the days
of Hart Crane and train-rides,
where are the nights
of wide and endless skies?
Where are the star tunnels
through cold October forests,
where are the flaming leaves
and the pretty girls' ghosts?
Where is the vigor and rage
of the slender obsessive teenager,
where is the hope and the trust
that tomorrow will be ecstatic?
Where are the silver yesterdays,
bright dimes on memory's asphalt?
Where has the purple room gone,
the eager poems of 1982?
All here is a fading Polaroid
kept between pages
of a long-neglected book,
stray scraps of newspaper
from late administrations,
the scrawl of rust upon the skies of morning.
All here is the mildew of prudence.
The dated text. The dead letter.