Twelve Ways of Looking at Nicholas
(with apologies to Wallace Stevens)

I Among the endless miles of constellated night the only thing moving is your eye in the telescope.
II Hinged around the equinox, summertime stays later. Sometimes you take part in it.
III Opened by white in a gamble of your choosing, trotted between fingers and thumb over the checkered board, the King you pursued until mated upon the squares.
IV Paranoia is when you cannot fall faceless in a crowd. You wait but their images never fade from your mind.
V You toss emptied beer cans in a box with panes of stained glass, and in pacing dump your cigarette ashes on it. The sight of it causes unexplainable moods in you.
VI The men of Castro Street would cut each other's conversation off with revised opinions if they saw how you follow the skirts of the women about you.
VII You know yourself, and you reckon with others. But do the Russians know, too, they are involved in what you know?
VIII When you wake up it marks the edge of one of many endeavors.
IX If from a distance you saw yourself laughing in a blue night, even the Prophets of History would cry out quickly.
X You bathe in a house of glass walls. Once, a fear stabbed you in that you mistook the shadow of your friend for a lover.
XI Clouds came at noon. So did snow. Snow fell from the sky all night. You thought by the window smoking cigarettes till dawn.
XII I saw you being pulled by the theory of gravity through deep black space until you disappeared into the place that forever gathers light.
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