Loved and Lost

                                     - John Burnside

Give me a childhood again and I will live
as owls do, in the moss and curvature

of nightfall
                -glimpsed,
but never really seen,

tracking the lane
to a house I have known from birth

through goldenrod
and alstroemeria;

while somewhere,
at the far edge of the day,

a pintailed duck
is calling to itself

across a lake,
                    the answer it receives

no more or less remote than we become
to one another,

                     mapped,
then set aside till we admit

that love divulged is barely love at all:
only the slow decay of a second skin

concocted from the tinnitus of longing.