& a time for my middle name,
& with a clear sky in a breathless flame,
In the early morning of a Seattle flashlight,
Unfortunately, she’s not grown in the ways in which she might
(i.e. her mutable teenage romanticism),
& she has in the ways I thought she’d never fluctuate
(i.e. her stomach used to be so flat,
& where her chest was once – we’ll leave at that.)
My memory not my soul these changes irritate
& all my fantasies that left more future to create.
On that sunlit fish market her progeny’s dispersed,
& with a cup of sugary coffee I feel quite reimbursed.
There will be time to murder what three years have hid
& time to invent the shame,
& on a northbound bus without a name,
On that train a madman revives Poor Tom’s lost refrain;
With fortune, we’ll recover in recurrent pain
Her mutable teenage romanticism.
He sings to gluttonous hags as if they’d never slept,
(So where was pretty in them lunatic eyes
If angel sun a gilded guinea buys?)
New shadow to new substance all these changes irritate:
To see the moon, one must his head rotate.
The solid past & liquid fantasy exchange saliva now,
& air to air tomorrow melts like white milk from a chocolate cow.
June 10, 2006
There is a time for Thomas Stearns Eliot