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from Bayart: Spring


the different season as season follows season, the climate different as well,
spring comes (not as brutal as it once was, back there, back then;
back there, back then: a thing fled, another house, another land, less tender
now just remembered, just a few papers and photographs left)
the sky another color, and other sounds, other heat,
more rain, and a different color to the trees (greener but a lighter green)
and different because the transition from winter to spring comes
imperceptibly (the leaves not falling):
and birds, more birds, more life (for instance, fireflies, but in another season)
hunting dogs, horses, etc., more flowers and the sea nearby,
the sea calm and grey and also pink after it snows or after certain kinds of clouds,
the islands dark and low, almost black against the pink sea and the cotton clouds
and the snow-filled air (all captured in watercolors
in an herbal guide that has since fallen apart - the few remaining pages dog-eared or torn -
like other watercolors in this book bound in blue)
which is to say neither dull nor bright, a different blue, a darker one;
of the house and garden every single thing: plant, tree, flower, lamp, scent, scene
and the arrangement of the rooms and their furnishings
(moving some, shifting others, sounds as familiar as those in an oddly accurate dream,
unexpected and a bit off-kilter, though you couldn't quite say why

other: the suspension bridge on the left, down below the rocks, a small beach,
along a river colored yellow or blue, the ships of the merchant marine
(the other marines being simply marines, without benefit of adjective,
and thus clearly superior)- oil tankers, ferries, cargo ships, carriers -,

signs posting the schedule of the shuttle between this bank and the other-
the lines of pale blue sky and pale blue sea fusing where they meet,
light grey buildings, the statue, white, and a street growing dimmer in the falling sun
- so the stone goes black - in full sun, stone is white
but under the arches, black - as black as stone stained with smoke
from enormous fires and stained, too, with smoke escaping from the kitchen stoves

trans. Cole Swensen