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. …

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