That Janus Month – Jan Bailey


Harry ambles by in his red
blanket coat, circles his houses,
mending, tending. Rita rouses
to her routine and makes for Carina
though Newt has left the island,
his flying speech run off into silence.
The clock ticks; a few finches
worry about cats. Today there is
no sea but for the seeing.
Seamless time, like a cupped
hand reaching backwards into air
or a long letter folding over
on its own, quickly,  before I
can memorize the lines; like
a face floating by a window,
a smell on the tip of the tongue;
like web. The heart quickens;
the eyes dart, take notice; the mind
pulls out its scrap of paper
and pen, but by then it is evening
and the red sky above Manana
burns away any chance at restraint.
I click on the tv, to get grounded,
to name the day, to say aloud..
“Ah, yes, this has happened, history
is.” But the moon circles, the stars
slipslide, the trees have long ago
surrendered. If I too let go,
and I will, there will be the piper
to pay: one flash and it is June
and the flag whipping above the Inn,
my days numbered, again, again that
Janus month, that longing
to be lost, and losing.

Jan Bailey

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