Ends: of summer; time in the country; time
before departures. Time
tapers to a snake that slides invisibly
off into the long grass of the world,
though such a narrowed notion fails to scratch
the itch lodged in between
impatiently waiting for something new to happen
and clinging to what, having
already happened, slithers
off into the brush without a sound.
[That matter engenders contagion]

That matter engenders contagion
if interfered with in its deepest fibers
cut out from its mother like a veal calf
like the pig from its own heart
screaming at the sight of its torn entrails;

That this destruction generates
the same energy that blazes out
when society turns on itself, the temple's veil torn
and the king's head axed from the body of the state
until the faith healer becomes the wound;

That the hearth's embrace is radiation,
nature's pyre, which unravels
helplessly before the smiling company
so as to effect the slightest increase
of the surrounding temperature;

That the form of every production implies
breaking and entry, fission, a final leavetaking,
and that history is the act of combustion
and the Earth a tender stockpile of firewood
left out to dry in the sun,

is hard to credit, is it not?

(Text of the poem in the original Italian)

[Origin: bef 1000; ME breche, OE broec breaking]

Like a mouth packed shut, the levee wants to open the act or a result of breaking; break or rupture it desires the water's fluorescence, the water's depth, the water's dirt an infraction and so the water, no pale lace collar fashioned of delicate mud, no mistress of careful spilling, the water in a storm surge cracks the floodwall apart gap made in a wall, fortification, line of soldiers sound of a gun shot and shot, sound of a bomb blast a rift, a fissure, a severance of friendly relations then silence as water erases, as water fills streets and takes everything with it: a hole of 200 feet the breaking of waves, the dashing of surf later you look on the city map a violation, as of a law, trust, faith or promise and it will be marked with a small red star like a bitter lipsticked kiss.