by Tom Swift

The young wife smooths the bed
she has slept in alone for three nights:
the air is dark about her lamps
and crystal. With plump girl’s
fingers she closes windows.
There is heavy rain coming.

In the cathedral of drought, birds
with stone wings fly past motes
that spin inside the dust, singing
for him who left his balcony
to follow a dark heaven.
Street people comb the pews for fallen
bread. They hear shots far off:

Love has crossed the border.

-Thomas R. Smith, “Poem for Verlaine,” Keeping the Star (1988)