Monday, January 10, 2011

This Week's Poem

Distant Vacation

Of all industry- the gutted refinery, sagging like a body
unused, that still cries from the ceiling
last month’s rain.

Step outside, into winter, and the Northern
Lights spume alien green, distend, pressed
between the two glass slides-

endless night and its soil. Why the distance
of words like alien? What is being enlarged,
investigated, the illnesses in our blood.

White cells, too low. Something
of the unknowable elicits a promise
that it resides in us too, that foreign

tricks of light are our tongues,
that a fishery rotted still stands
because someone someday will replaster the ceiling.

It is too dark to recognize as more than shadow
the unpenned horses and mangy wads of sheep above.
But something must exist to cast them

forty feet long down the white hill.
The pigeons cling desperately to the village steeple.
The unmanned ships in the harbor still prowl for fish.

-published in Arlington Literary Journal

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