From what facts you gave, or refrained from giving,
I have not quite been able to determine
whether a porch graces the girl’s aunt’s house
(gingerbread cornices, filigree arches)
where, in the evening, after talk, green tea,
after the table has been cleared, the chairs
arranged, or rearranged, lamps dimmed, the stars lit,
one moves, with the others, to take the breeze
(any merest stirring of leaves suffices),
the air smelling of dusk, of moss, of woods
to the rear, or the side, of the frame house
(directions will be useless: in the dark
all falsify, mislead, are wholly suspect);
whether the upstairs windows face the river
or look out on the towpath, the canal;
whether, at a speed reckless but triumphant,
a car, just one (all that is necessary
for this vision of farewell and departure),
negotiates the turn to River Road
effortlessly, as we foresaw it would,
as though it were the route that entered dreaming
(which, in the dark of certain nights, it is)