Convention (after a line by Ashbery)


She married again and called it “a new life,”
“a fresh beginning.” Like a spider repairing
the web itinerant wind and rain had rent
in the night, she spins another filament,
releases a silken facet of her hair.
As if each word, each syllable were distinct,
divorced from the context, centripetal force.
“Love might last longer if it dresses the part,
clothes make the commitment, lips follow suit,”
she reasons like a stand-up comic. But there is
no “autumn after speech.” Only the insistent
glare of a lake that knows nothing but how
to reflect inadvertently what nature calls,
the tearing down and building up of disorder.