On my white windowsill
among dainty tea cups,
a ceramic bird house, a
blue and white vase from France,
lies something dead.
As he flew past, for it is an insect,
was he dazzled by these objets
d’art as he sought to free himself
from the confines of the house?
The crane fly is a beauty
has he procreated already?
He lies folded up like an
diaphanous wings at rest.
A body so slender
you wonder how
all the parts fit inside.…
for Anne Sexton
A boat in the garage, one last sail, one last row. Inside out finished, words through the seam, bedlam in grey and green.
Those matches never blew out the darkness. Never lit the street, never lit the dream. Never dammed the beckoning sea. The vessel. The tethered boat at the edge. Never sealed the fracture, the malacia, the fault between role and creator.
The lapping Charles calls one final, fifth time. Hysteria sets in, welcome in this place, manic in this space, carbon monoxide the elixir. Red cells swim like fish back and forth, at last the awful row.
A boat in the garage, one last sail, one last row. One final, fifth time.
– Ti Sumner
Author’s Note: I wrote “46 Anne” in response to Anne Sexton’s poem “45 Mercy Street.” Peter Gabriel’s song “Mercy Street” also provided inspiration for the poem. …
Affixed to your bedpost was
some mask I had made you
for Halloween maybe three years
ago, before I started to
scare you and before
I ruined holidays and important dates
and made you want to start
taking down all of your calendars
and reminders from your walls.
I spent an entire afternoon
thinking of you and of the sentimental
value in making something by hand
that would coincidentally outlast
and I got very caught up in the music
I had on and how much I
and that the mask looked
sort of silly in the end,
like someone much younger had
been painting and adding shapes,
though it was coming from
a part of me only you came to understand.…
We sat together
on opposites ends of
a booth near the window
of a fast food chain,
miraculously open on
for those in the services,
those who drive trucks,
and those who find
on opposite ends
of the booths.
We’re nearly sixty
he’s lived my life
but our jokes are
timeless, and our
timing is youthful
We went out at midnight to see the sun touch the horizon.
There was so much meaning attached to a simple act of angular geography.
It hung there, suspended, like breath before a wish arranges itself
And the world went white and the water and the air and we closed
our eyes for the blackness
And when we opened it was light again,
just like we always knew it would be.
– Emily Shearer
Author’s Note: My teenage son went to Iceland last year with a school group; his stories of the midnight sun inspired this poem. With it, I wanted to capture the optimism of youth.…