Three Roads Diverged

“Three Roads Diverged”


Three roads diverged, or maybe they were only threads unspooling

as the plane ascended above the city of my life.

Not jumbled but crossing, interlocking, peach-hungry but Prufrocking,

traffic stuttering from low altitude before distance let it pour,

light-river headlights streaming Christmas in the falling darkness.

(But does darkness fall when you’re rising into it?

When you meet it, coming or going, its hand touching

the shoulder of your wings like an old friend on the street?

Or is it instead a fellow-traveler, no cloak but a companion?)


Oh, I could tell you one of the roads was red,

but no one wants to hear about my raw and throbbing heart.

You have one, too. It’s not a special thing, except—

yours is yours, and mine is mine.


Of course one is green—I’m young enough for that now,

the irrigation of time, distance, and sun

having resurrected the tired, crumbling dirt,

flooding the dry riverbeds of resigned desires.


The blue road looks from here like a vase

aching for flowers and gaze,

but the vase is in motion as if it has been thrown,

the arc of it stretching into the receding horizon.


Having flown now more than once in ten years,

I’m waiting for the moment of cloud cover that brings clarity,

the settling into enclosure on a fixed path, boxed freedom of flight,

the falling away of these divergences and unspoolings

into the soft arms of night, speed, and departure.

(The night is so great from the air, the embrace of it tighter,

as if it lives in the sky, higher than ordinary darkness,

and when I visit it’s so glad for my company,

although I’ve walked with it on every road.)