June 6, 2003

The World at Dusk
---by Michael Burkard

There are those I attempt to describe.
The words always fail.
One man has a face of winter
and only summer words find me.
Or worse: the words of spring which trample the winter face.

It is not as romantic as a curse.
I find my first two names in a cemetery.
Every moment life is slowly drawing to a close.
One day I will find the third name as well.
I do not know the third name, only that I will find it, or it

Anyone is a red house
against the glowing dark.
There are the variations of anyone in the light,
in the form of the house against the landscape,
until the final light is so much it is almost house against

I see and hear most clearly through other people.
Without them I become almost a solitude.
A place of emptiness.
Perhaps I have needed this emptiness more than I have
perhaps I feared its place for fear of itself.

After thirty-nine years I am still
a stranger to myself. I feel exhausted
— living with this stranger for so long.
I do not know what to do with him or for him.
I ask the silence for help.

Help for each of us. For the stranger
also does not know me, and he too must find it odd
to hear his stranger saying "I do not know what to do. . ."
To hear the word help
muttered so closely and not addressed to him.


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