At mid-day, suddenly, in summer
Within the air flake drifting upon flake.

To build such darkness out of air,
Such snow, and its breathed nothingness.

At noon the sun itself an emptiness.
Ash everywhere.  In the ash tufts of hair,

Upon the skin a film, a bitterness
And smell that nothing rubs away.

Not snow, and its pure nothingness,
But in the air a sweat of oil and soot.

In each flake all we know and are,
The nothingness of all we build.

Each flake that is still, too, of God,
Upon the skin, upon the mouth, the tongue.

Listen.  The twelfth hour of the world.
Look.  Taste.  And do not look away.


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