Today's poem is by Yerra Sugarman
How Easily the City is Lost
How easily the city is lost, leaves me
to see only what's at hand: a sliver
of red brick and mortar, a pigeon roosting
on the rain-slick railing, a postcard of The Penitent
Magdalen by Georges de La Tour. Under fog
the world attempts disappearance. Even desire
tissues to smoke in the steamy kitchen of sky.
This day a reprieve: a thick cream
of mushroom. Anticipateds slip
my mind. The morning-scent of coffee
and bread are all I need. In Mary's mirror
a single flame blossoms from a single candle.
She looks away from it, from the picture plane
which is to say, from the physical. She hungers
for no thing. An idea of the ideal as nothing
we can see. What happens if we are not
surpassed by some Absolute, something shapeless?
What happens if we are not transported?
Her face cleavinghalf in, half outthe candle's
juniper of light. On her vanity a putty-colored skull,
the delicate white beads. Her arm pure, moony,
marionette; the folds of her gown sculptured.
This is an arrangement of light and shade, a clair-obscur.
We need shape to know we are living
which is to say, the phenomenal: potatoes sung by earth,
a sallow moon clinging to a tree, arc of a bruised knee.
Archimedes, the story goes, measured even a grain
of sand, anxious to know how many grains were needed
to fill the universe. There is never a shortage
of yearning. I want to be among things
that bloom although I do not love flowers.
Magdalen, how you glow, how let go, loosened
in the brilliant darkness. Once I wore only black
by which I meant emptiness. Now I wear blue.
When will I pass through what I love
into the fog, the meaningless, the truly beautiful?
Copyright © 2003 Yerra Sugarman All rights reserved
from Forms of Gone
The Sheep Meadow Press
Support Verse Daily
Please support Verse Daily's very generous sponsors:
Sponsor Verse Daily!
Home Archives Web Monthly Features About Verse Daily FAQs Submit to Verse Daily Publications Noted & Received
Copyright © 2002, 2003 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved