how to describe the years?

“All too soon, no one cares. We go back to doing little things for each other,
pasting stamps together to form a tiny train track, and other,
less noticeable things. The past is forgotten till next time.
How to describe the years? Some were like blocks of the palest halvah,
careless of being touched. Some took each other’s trash out,
put each other’s eyes out. So many got thrown out
before anyone noticed, it was like a chiaroscuro
                                                                                        of collapsing clouds.
How I longed to visit you again in that old house! But you were deaf,
or dead. Our letters crossed. A motorboat was ferrying me out past
the reef, people on shore looked like dolls fingering stuffs.”

(John Ashbery, from “Chinese Whispers”.)

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