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by Jessica Harman



The gold wall frazzles the frescoes
covering it, and those frescoes were memories.

Glowing cracks down
the leaves. A world
made of arcs and shimmers, indecipherable. The heat

between us crackles as you hold me.
There is nothing more
but wonder.

There is nothing more. We have reached the abyss
that all blackbirds diagram with a frisson.

Shadows wheel in the sun. The grass
from temperamental bluster to cool gold.

The leitmotif returns, subconscious
and flickering.


The landscape there is very beautiful.

It is a paradise retreat, where I grew up, where gold grape vines
that didn't yield twined up the whitewashed frescoes light paint on the side of the house.
All the movie stars are moving there, though we never thought

of it as paradise-too many mosquitoes.
Vision without vision within: the deer

graze, raising their young in cornfields
instead of woods, because the forests are disappearing

more and more with new housing
developments. The world sleeps, there, always, blue

then a bluer gold. A night of shattered stars. We were always guessing
about our chosen faiths, as if something about them

could be the flaw in the world, like ink
walking through
the flicker guiding a pen writing down the dawn.


Copyright 2008 by Jessica Harman

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