Today's poem is by Mary Jo Bang

Still as in a Still after Still

How-then-why is charted like a map is a chart,
In four colors.
The typography forms another layer

That includes the map
Of the nap you took on Sunday.
The dream sky

That pressed in. A still is a picture
Of one segment. A tabletop rectangle
That is recommended. Okay, fine,

It was like that and like a de Chirico as well.
Sharp shadows. Summer sunlight.
An artichoke. A chokehold.

A multi-story building
With layer after layer, each layer
Speaking like a person would say I wanted a cat,

I wanted a hat, I wanted to say happy something.
It was like a tree trunk
Formed from a handful of ashes

In a dark forest. In the dream you're looking
Into a light like the type that used to shine down
On a suspect in a movie not made anymore

So much more exact are the tactics
For forcing a speech.
Through the light comes a sound,

A roundness and depth of a fire truck cutting its way
Through a crowd of cars halted for fear.
There is a house that's off-camera

In flames. A matching white ice-cap melts
In the corner at the camera angle.
Every four inches, fear already fallen,

And in the air more,
The color of fire flowing down branches.

Copyright © 2009 Mary Jo Bang All rights reserved
from Poetry London
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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