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Wallace Stevens Sings the Blues
The final in this short series of poems
from the fountain pen of Nicola Donaven

This is not an apple you bring,
but some cool round fruit
smelling perfectly of death or your mother.

This rain falls like dominoes,
clattering, spilling, tumbling.

Crack these dark seeds in sharp teeth,
and know what drink you bring.
Tastes like Hades, like a life too long
shut up in a drawer somewhere.

A crow nests in the join of the V
of the double street lamps,
crying an invective against rain,
a warning of death.

Pray for some kind of sun
to fall through a window onto your bed.
This life I find in the pip of your smooth fruit
is like a goiter or a boil
but never so precious as any pale gem
that light falls through.
This life is fit food for saints, martyrs and fools.

Do not trifle with omens
or stand too long in haunted hallways,
immobilized by fear stronger than prayer.
stronger than the sound of rain.
Hesitate; the ghost disappears.

Slowed with the care that remembers hazard,
a terrible mouth breaks the skin, biting clean
to the middle, freeing Persephone and her kind.

 

Nicola J. Donaven
Copyright 2001, all rights reserved
.

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