A few more might have survived the fall
To read the afternoon away, navigating
In sullen peace, a finger at the lips,
From the beginning of one surf point to the end,

And again, and may have wondered why being alone
Is the condition of happiness, the substance
Of the golden hints, articulation in the hall outside,
And the condition as well of using that knowledge

To pleasure, always rejoicing in confinement? Otherwise it fades
Like the rejoicing at the beginning of an opera, since we know
The seriousness of what lies ahead: that we can split open
The ripe exchanges, kisses, sighs, only in unholy

Solitude, and sample them here. It means that a disguised fate
Is weaving a net of heat lightning on the horizon, and that this
Will be neither bad nor good when experienced. Meanwhile
The night has been pushed back again, but cannot say where it has been.

John Ashbery, “The Freedom of the House”, in Shadow Train