Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Sistine Notebooks: The Delphic Sibyl

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Sistine Notebooks: The Delphic Sibyl

Article excerpt

Yes, it tamed her, being changed into a tree, but consider

what went

on in me,

-Alice Fulton, "Turn: A Version"

O, my Elizabeth, sweet as Delphi,

I know that I'm neither of two kinds of men

in this world when I look in your eyes.

Not counted on or counted out, how could I

have foreseen the brand of aging

with agelessness you'd doggedly coax into being?

I've stood by for a decade, adored you

as your body, my favorite body, broke anew

as if enacting its diagnosis, a phrase senseless

as one spoken in some prophetic tongue:

ankylosing spondylitis. Words without cognate,

making your spine, my sense and speech seize

with palate paused in glottal sigh, while you

seem never to mind, the way staked saplings

still shudder with love for the warmth of the breeze. …

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