Of the winding paths the mind’s eye
traces in the past I risk no comment.
The see-saw of tense and place prevents
grasping the gyre of their grammar.
Just the moment’s bustle I know, scant
marks of confusion gilt in sun slant air:
calliope motes, a wisp of disobedient hair.

Yet given the girl poised light as a lip
beside me on this curb, I could whisper
into the soft nautilus of her ear
the secret cardinal bearing of time.