Lilac Vesper

At first, only a familiar, distant bristling,
like the claws of a hunter’s hand
brushing a hawthorn hedge:
hyenas, locked in a contest of strength.

How soon will vespers settle in a lilac shade,
daubed by blues that recede like breath
cooling welted flesh? Then,
a boy like a long lost brother

will venture the stifling evening roads
and return to the place where he came,
where even angels lack their place,
coralled by a dog star’s reign.

There’s no room in that land for us,
paupers of love, who grow not, diminish.
But you, wandering brother,
what pith do you feign?

Only your proud back remains.

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