Telephone Wires at Dusk

C. E. Chaffin

These wires, iced at sunset with duskfire,
have a brightness beside themselves,
their taut tense lengths
humming with unknown conversations
through insulated copper,
transfigured into phosphorescent black,
a glowing welder's rod of invisible tongues--

As if the light could see
and knew the cold particulars
passing between ears at this second dawn,
dying of day and night's birth--
And as if by heliotelepathy
the sun exposed the hidden chatter,
and the words were fire
laced with the salt of reason,
leaving the burnt scent of compassion
in the air like ozone--

If but the words,
the words between men I mean,
were true as these flaming wires--
How beautiful these transient fires
at night's dawn and day's end would be:
fit companions of stars.


The 2River View, 2_3 (Spring 1998)