I lived unaware for a time (I have to admit it) Unconscious in a casual castle Sipping livid Glenlivit; I was deaf to the daily curses Of incontinent scullery maids, And recognized not the stable boys' Disingenuous praise. As lazy time lolled on From here and now to gone A private contentedness And not extant catastrophe was What I secretly counted on. And all that time, you Looked over the lifeboats Tested and prepped the crew, Gauging the drop-height From the second story window In case of fire or flight. I was smoking cigarettes In bed, getting girls up for a chat While tanning in a deckchair, Eyeing the hostess on the sly, And all that. But you had long before departed. The hallway echoed with your passage As dawn or noon or night invited The memory of your visage. You had left like a bell That rings only in memory, Or how a tale told in childhood Retold is a story today. The hearing ear is fooled By a wrongful kindness of the mind Whose generous assistance molds Everything it finds. You are silent, absent and afar Indifferent and unreachable As a collapsing star. Quietly busy ostensibly In an alternate universe For your light still spills Some length of years at ease In at every sill. Ships and compasses Still rely on the light, Having been forged in your presence And wandering still in the night. But one day your light, having left, Will leave us of light bereft. And yet you return, return In all the days of my thought As if there were no now and then As if mercury cornered stayed caught. And yet you return, return Like an agile ellipsoid mobile About your own center you turn Presenting new angles the while, New facets and faces revealed, But really always and beautifully centered. Maybe I too am centered, I too, But more orbitally arranged Fixed on a spar of you From your central largeness estranged As when Earth to dawn has come Halfblind in the sun.