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Robins Embody the Holly
From crotched, zealous
comes this pealing, vernal throstle,
off-season in barbed hotel,
a chromic quire. Much is lost
on me, but loss is not.
Night’s tumbler, verdigris,
drops fast on day’s debris.
No surrogate for divinity, I know,
yet an earful of spring wine reams
grief: not mere mimicry. Not mine.
With sight aborted would I be
you, bloodstone chamber
beside the lost-to-me river?
You be my business?
Not these words that return you
only in dreams
you long ago stumped
in moonlight unforgiving
as the mirror that winks
when I cross the milky way
of its bedroom eye,
effaced as the stars,
the cars, bridge lights
across adult waters
the girl I was watched
behind your animal torso,
pheasant blooded, jar-filled cellar,
age-veined palm absorbed,
raised in ravaged opening,
an iris, a warning.
Have you a mind,
close-closeted, dusk scaled,
messages sealed with resin,
rachis of sorrow inflated
into fable, which is perhaps
any body’s story to tell?
You be winter’s.
I’ll be all that breath
it took to un-tell you
from the mute green branch.
From pond’s blonde haunches
this blue deck-chair of a bird,
all canvas, struts, unfolds
& lifts above the adjacent lot,
as though the future might love us,
after all, despite our ungainly pride
& chop-block capacity for denial.
Undulant, its shadow, cast, moves
over windshield, moon-roofs:
a hobbled crate, a sunburnt kite
my watching heart pumps harder
to propel, as though attempting
a pastoral, out of tune & time & synch.
Ink, paper, whispering extinct, extinct.
Lisa Russ Spaar has published over ten books of poetry and criticism, most recently Monticello in Mind: 50 Contemporary Poems on Jefferson and Orexia: Poems. She is a professor in the Creative Writing Program of the Department of English at the University of Virginia.
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