Monday, July 15, 2013

Emily D's Lover

At Emily's In Amherst

by David Ray

On this day of our visit they are spraying the attic
for spiders, hoping to kill a black widow or two,
and I know she would not like that.

Outside, standing between cypresses, I imagine her
as a girl, playing in cool shadows, little Emily
struck through the heart with an icicle of loneliness.

Upstairs, her tiny bed, the white dress with pearl buttons,
and the bureau where she left the poems
folded, each with a stitch or two of blue thread.

I look across the field to where they carried her
on a door, as if to a bed with wrought iron railings.
There she lies silent while we fall to our knees, speak to her.

Sipping wine from the dandelions of her yard, I ask her
about the lover, if there was one. And I feel certain
I am that lover, all she could look forward to.

Yet I am not such a bad choice. I sit devoted for hours,
loving her well, sharing the wine, the growing darkness,
and I promise to come back, to think of her always.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Seduction in the heat of summer

Yes as thievery, except if saved for
a fantasy in which I in a backless
dress encounter

you on a typical balcony
overlooking Vltava, gripping the latticework,
metal, a barrier to leaping

into an esoteric night, fixed and ornate
enough, like my penchant for the infinite
within the singular, encounter you

as tributary, serpentine, the heat of your fingers
on my spine, my head turning
as you bend to catch the yes

I'd held latent, a mine you trigger with
your tongue, neither of us
mean to stop exploding.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Birding at the Dairy  
We're searching
for the single


we've heard

with thousands
of starlings

and brown-headed

when the many-
headed body

and undulates,

a sudden congress
of wings

in a maneuvering
wave that veers

and wheels, a fleet
and schooling swarm

in synchronous alarm,
a bloom radiating

in ribbons, in sheets,
in waterfall,

a murmuration
of birds

that turns
liquid in air,

that whooshes
like waves

on the shore,
or the breath

of a great
seething prayer.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Each morning

Welcome Morning

by Anne Sexton

There is joy
in all:
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
each morning,
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
each morning,
in the spoon and the chair
that cry "hello there, Anne"
each morning,
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
each morning.

All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.

The Joy that isn't shared, I've heard,
dies young.

Monday, July 1, 2013

plum trees in the breakdown lane

Walking in the Breakdown Lane

by Louise Erdrich

Wind has stripped
the young plum trees
to a thin howl.
They are planted in squares
to keep the loose dirt from wandering.
Everything around me is crying to be gone.
The fields, the crops humming to be cut and done with.

Walking in the breakdown lane, margin of gravel,
between the cut swaths and the road to Fargo,
I want to stop, to lie down
in standing wheat or standing water.

Behind me thunder mounts as trucks of cattle
roar over, faces pressed to slats for air.
They go on, they go on without me.
They pound, pound and bawl,
until the road closes over them farther on.