Today's poem is by Robert Vasquez


The moon's huge corona is one clue,
and the willow's limb-long sway
another—this slow

ache within music. And now the night
unrolls its ashen arc, what
Whistler longed for as

he sampled London's East End bars and
whores. Can fuckable flesh heal
this pain that precedes

paint and brush stroke, the antecedents
of starlight? If we seem lost,
its simple: We are.

And Whistler's blocky nocturnes still build
canvases of blue on black:
a non-descript boat

on gaslamp-lit water, the two men
erect silhouettes that stir
the depths with hooked poles.

Whether the stone-lined Thames or the cat-
tailed Kings, each river's prism
swallows the dim dusk—

even the fish dream of an old world
flood plain that spreads like twilight,
that creamy clay swirl

of alluvium, a mudpack for
each wounded age. Whistler's eye
for the smoky dark

sharpens this July evening as the
geography of moonlight
descends and takes hold.

If we look down from this bridge, as if
rivers hold the sky, we'll see
the silver echo

and sputter of holiday rockets,
their aerial shock and spray
the brief rain of fire.

Copyright © 2006 Robert Vasquez All rights reserved
from The Notre Dame Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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