We spend our summers in a house once owned
By a couple who never spoke a word
To each other. And we have wondered if,
for Bill Patterson
There’s an apple tree in the salt meadow,
its trunk backswept by the years
(Palazzo Altemps, Rome)
In this broken trunk of Proconnesian marble,
the queen is in love with her stepson,
Last night my son, celebrating his marriage,
descended with his Turkish bride from a mid-
century Bel Air to U2’s “All
I Want Is You” & danced under the stars
Why did the chipped grains
swirl in butter with onions,
when your shadow walks through the wall.
when my heart is a false beat
Karen An-hwei Lee
The unborn who never make it into this world are edible
blossoms in the orphic throat of God, garlanded by floral
seraphs. Yes, the sky-blue borage, the cilantro and fennel
and calendula, the crystallized viola and skirted zucchini,
I was waiting for you outside the post office
A gray morning, nothing special about it
Except everything, since we were traveling
At a party the random tumbling voices
of friends gathered from distant places
together in one room, my son weaves
through the room with wine, kissing and pouring,
In another dispensation among the old
withering codes a young American woman
walked as if she balanced a gold cage
of singing birds on a coil of her hair
In the disorderly lives of our friends a marriage
of youngsters gallantly blinded by lusts consummated
in bawdy places, never beds—on hay bales,
on the back stairs of a dorm, or coal cellars,
The city as I see it rises and falls,
taking its shape from the underlying dunes
swelling in ridges like irregular welts…
To peddle a better beater. Broader
shouldered and wasp waisted, its cradled
double floats in struck-up loops set snug
in frame limb, driven by a winged shaft
The bank towers downtown gaze
like tungsten-eyed idols over the city
“Dear child,” they’d say, “take care
never to leave it spread
Dear son of mine, dear daughter,
the forecast called
for a fine evening, and we
did laugh at first, but then we bawled;
I am not supposed to be writing poetry,
I am supposed to be turning up my nose
And taking revenge.
D. consciously left temporarily the death idea kept
as dogs in houses. Phenomenal D. did. Who could
fathom it on a scale of empty? Nothing fit.
via Emily Brontë
Such rights are set on texts
outside copyright, and that lake
is its own sphere of influence.
The house was being added to: one
widened room, new wider windows.
I held onto the sawhorse to practice ballet.
C. J. Driver
So did we get it wrong, those years ago?
That’s “we,” the brainy boys and girls, elite
And blessed in every sort of way, judgmental
To a fault, agnostic to be sure.
A. F. Moritz
When you last saw me I was waiting
and now that you will never see me again
for all you know I still am. The time
it turned out was the last time I was sitting
The first finback whale took an evolutionary leap onto land,
and the president was on TV,
shaking the whale’s fin,
all sleek and blubber.
The TV is on mute: a slender man
in a towel shoos a moth from the sill
of an open door, while on the porch appears
Slow light is breaking
beyond the donkey’s pasture.
Inside the darkened house
brightness rims the shutters.
The harbor hardly sleeps at night, what with
listening in, glittering. Masts hover and sway
while keels answer in watery knocks, their own way
It’s the peeling birch and the lake glimpsed through it,
sheets buckling in wind, the emerald seams of moss
between pavers, three children rounding a bend.
In the Father’s shadowy hoard
pillows belch feathers across
mattress and floors:
I row with the wind in my apple-wood skin,
maw on crow’s dust and raw turnips.
What feeds on want behind the masks of houses?
A year of rain in an hour.
Then dawn. On the Quikcrete
patio a leaden mirror.