A Daylight Nocturnal

(after Donne)



The day’s deep midnight only this tick of clock
ghosted, then fast forgotten, so fast
it outruns (as it drives) the mind, lasts
only intermittently, like the shock
of an Easter recognition,
something soon fled from imagination,
too dark for contemplation
if brought back too quickly, making the mind,
turn and turn again until it binds

not just in thought but, as it were, in breath.
And then, when you try to think it all away,
you find it nearer, like a day
you would, but can’t, forget, one whose unending length
crowds out everything,
bringing back just the very thing
you most feared to find returning,
the thing itself, extending through a length of day
without your power to make it permanently go away