The names of orbits, the names
of Uncles, the names of plants

all memorized or gathered or buried
with the seeds. I have never grown

weary of reading the labels of spices,
ingredients of a potion, desert trees.

Never grown tired of counting
the seconds between lightning

and its boom, the gongs of the big clock
as it adds the hours that have

passed since midnight, when the college
is still asleep, and the students are

forgetting the answers to their teacher’s
great questions. As we forget,

the names of orbits, planets. The day
they married. The day he died.

That day was Monday. August,
and it was hot outside.