Today's poem is by Sandra Kohler

After Arcadia

On the cusp of the nineteenth century, romantic
meets rationalist. People fancy the wrong people:
Mozartean ronde, that sad comedy. Love is the joke
sex plays on us, sex is the serpent in the garden,

and death is the pattern in the garden's leaves.
Iterated algorithms. The first things are morning,
light, mourning. The last things are evening, light,
mourning. Let me discover what is between them:

the light between lights, the bland opening of
afternoon. A door opens that was not there, was not
a door. Mrs. Ramsay could not teach the family to
leave windows open, doors shut. Which windows,

what doors? One lets in sunrise, the other, sunset.
What is caught in my throat, I tell myself, is not
my heart, murmuring. The birds begin. How
delicate the flutter—which bird? Heart.

Copyright © 2003 Sandra Kohler All rights reserved
from The Ceremonies of Longing
University of Pittsburgh Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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