Today's poem is by Lisa Lewis


A calm arrested the vibrato of tunnels.
If you longed for rushing back, darting
as your eyes moved from pinnacle
to flat earth, you knew you had left
no mark on the gates of the stronghold.

If stillness translated the archaic, birdsong
sheared straight up: you argued
modernity. If you disappeared
into the embrace of ivy, or holy hail
banished your place among brick

and awnings to a keyhole below rubble,
elbows jutting like steel beams,
the geometry of particulars would repeat:
fish egg, volcanic crater, pot of violets,
tools for building, tools for tearing down.

Once, in the waist-deep breakers of the Atlantic,
your foot slicked the muscle of a skate's wings
on the gritty bottom, and that split second touch,
the animal's jolting escape and your leaping,
painted you, denied your right

to an art of seizing, art of casting away:
there it is, that pose, boy and sea
creature, and the water clear to gaze straight
down at the broad body repeating
the waves' gesture, gray matter of rippling.

You aged to questions. A light insinuated
vision, so you named what you could measure.
The names did not cease for lack of listening,
on a shaded bank where you lay to rest,
no matter the words slipping into your mouth

to fly wildly out as you breathed.

Copyright © 2010 Lisa Lewis All rights reserved
from Potomac Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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