Between the Acts

A poem


I write because I am

the reincarnation of Aeschylus.

Correction: I am Aeschylus.


But I have only two lines. Well,

had. I made them three.

Then I made them two again.


Now I have —

seven! On summer days I wonder,

what future do I have


as Aeschylus? Outside, the sky

slumps around in its grey caftan

complaining about the weather.


And, sigh, no cobbles, no sparrows

below the window. No artichokes,

no edgy fringes in the wind, no


stoa. And pines? Not for miles.

I have a ticket for tonight’s train

but fear I will be late. You know how it is


with trains like that. Somewhere

a future is unfolding

and I, Aeschylus, must — must file a —


Meanwhile the sky loiters,

lowering its judgements.

No consolation. I bet you thought


I was going to say “toga”

back there on line eleven.

I’ve found my best work is done


at higher elevations — there, at least, are trees

thin enough a wind can slip through

at intermission.