®

Today's poem is by Eduardo C. Corral


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

I approach a harp
   abandoned
in a harvested field.
   A deer
leaps out of the brush
   and follows me

in the rain, a scarlet
   snake wound
in its dark antlers.
   My fingers
curled around a shard
   of glass—

it's like holding the hand
   of a child.
I'll cut the harp strings
   for my mandolin,
use the frame as a window
   in a chapel
yet to be built. I'll scrape

   off its blue
lacquer, melt the flakes
   down with
a candle and ladle
   and paint
the inner curve
    of my soup bowl.

The deer passes me.
   I lower my head,
stick out my tongue
    to taste
the honey smeared
   on its hind leg.

In the field's center,
    I crouch near
a boulder engraved
   with a number
and stare at a gazelle's
    blue ghost,
the rain falling through it.


Copyright © 2002 Eduardo C. Corral All rights reserved
from Indiana Review, Spring 2002
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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