No theories arise when the wind
hits the centerpiece and sends it
toppling to the floor.
Things will be as they are,
and the snuffed-out candle
forms a heap of ashes for the
scavenging mouse to find.
He will mend his own darkness
whether we catch him or not.
And even when our civilization has ended,
geologically or in a fluke
of our own devising, that same moon
which flared through midnight’s window
will continue its age-old provocation.
Becoming the place where another
generation of sleepwalkers
send their light-rigged prayers.
I went to the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.
It was a clear day. I was twenty-four.
I had come from many miles across
I bought a shovel from the nearby store.
I went to where Junkets lies.
I dug a hole six feet deep.
I hit a hull of rotted wood.
The sound was a kind of sadness.
Inside he was bare bones in a 19th
Elegant. Dressed for dinner.
Still ready for the feast of living.
I held him forever in my arms.
Around us Shelley’s ashes danced
All that bright desirous being
just a minor pillage
for the old Italian wind.
Seth Jani lives in Seattle, Washington and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). Their work has appeared in Chiron Review, The Comstock Review, Common Ground Review and Pretty Owl Poetry, among others. Their full-length collection, Night Fable, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2018. More about them and their work can be found at www.sethjani.com.