Today's poem is by Tony Brinkley

from Gomorrah, a sequence


the softness is a sign they are alive,
implausibly, a reflex, less than nothing,
negative perhaps, beneath the sediments

of deadness, apprehended as about to be
on fire, vague because not yet. . . .
To enumerate by threes—three angels,

gleaners, strangers pausing on the route
to their destruction. Only two arrive
to find us waiting at the destination.

And two cities, one arrived at, one
collateral—submerged without a word—
a dove the Elbe turns to salt. When

you grew up in the residue
of flames, did you know you
were Gomorrah, that the lindens

were Gomorrah, that the North Sea
was the Dead Sea? Co-factor the rivers.
Rationalize the fire. Water is water.

Air, air. Rise in desolation. Texture
the water. Gomorrah is a wave
about to name its offering.

Copyright © 2006 Tony Brinkley All rights reserved
from Beloit Poetry Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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