The boughs have been naked for weeks.
Snowplows scrape the highway clean of its sugar.
People withdraw into their nests and study
the language of fire. A group of high school girls
on their way home in the afternoon dark
falls into an embankment and flaps their arms
and legs as though cloud-swimming toward the coming world.
The blank silence of dead earth forces us
to gaze up, harvest the black music that belongs
to all the eyes in the future who will turn to the spheres
and study too whatever light to fill their emptiness.
Reprinted from The Absurd Man: Poems. Copyright (c) 2020 by Major Jackson. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.