Academic journal article Chicago Review

Prothalamion

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Prothalamion

Article excerpt

1.

While crickets sing like small chinks in a chain, two friends sit in a room with corniced windows opening on a maple and the cool night air, one reading to the other one a poem about a reader in a room alone and reading to himself, his light the only light. Each voice takes turns to make the sound of the story as it should be, turning it over on his tongue to turn his listener back against what he had heard first, when he first heard what had to be told, as if to see which pleased the other more.

2. Rehearsal

I take the steps up: the eagle, Saint Paul above the spiral. High, I read Paul's hymn, love's scrim of letters, then, instead of walking, fall down the smooth stone stairs as I'm thrown free through the air to look up at the bridesmaids, their bright hair, penumbral blue blooms and forget-me-nots over me, the three stunned Graces cooing, a ring arranging its faces, its triune knots free, garland-like while voices strike - water on water - the thunder of gently swelling laughter.

3. A Gift

A basket made from cut vines: I have not cut them or gathered them. It is strong. It can hold many things. It does not smell like honeysuckle flowers though woven with honeysuckle vines.

4. Song of Songs

Camphire, saffron scents - cedar beams, rafters of fir: let day and the air in the room where time has been.

5.

Where time and time's strands splice the soul depicts itself a paradise.

6.

I fall into the waters of myself and cannot rise. Great boulders rim the pool on Stony Creek, the April water cold from melting snow, new rain, the memory of winter sleeping in the dense bedrock. …

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