Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Ghost Poem

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Ghost Poem

Article excerpt

Here is my solitary city. This island of steel

and avenue. Towers with skeletons of organ

pipes that pierce the clouds' flocking, but I

can't find the keys and predators are behind

the doors. In the park, the statues of foxes

still stand. Their plinths cracked by roots

of dwarf ebonies, and Pallas cormorants nest

in their jaws. The sky broke through the aviary's

roof and the swifts all went to sea or went

invisible. My church's windows house zeros.

Its obelisks illegible from ivy. Every fence,

every wall was left standing, but ladders from

that day lean against them. The watchlights

have run, finally, out of fuel, and the grass

gone wild. This is my city. This island of iron.

Now, the fountain sprays for the packs of dogs,

I haven't slept well since, and I might be

sorry. There were never crocodiles before,

but now they've come. Jackrabbits live

in the foundry's moldings, the nights are full

of wind, and I might regret my part in it. …

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