Saturday, January 9, 2016

Portrait of Lucy with Fine Nile Jar by Lucie Brock-Broido

Portrait of Lucy with Fine Nile Jar

My torso is a cedar chest in the brief closet 
Of the middle of a country, hollow 

                         Until three young sisters 
Curl there like marsupials and shut 

The bevelled door and die there, 
                         Not determined yet, into 

The camphored pouch of an Otherworld. 
Around this death there was a fine Nile jar 

Of halo-light, where I am 
                         Thinking of you now, 

                         Everything; you’re all 

Out of time like a nightjar In the diorama of the great hall 

Of prehistory, depicting the tiny cataclysmic 
                         Moment of some mythic, leggy 

Accident that changed the world 
One day, numinous as a Petrarchan 

Sunflower in the night. A moment 
                         Perfect as a bee suspended 

In the perfect weather of a honey jar. 
Your heart was cinctured, full, surrounded 

By a hinder of restharrow 
                         Roots, nestled in its little parasol 

Of amber grief, willful as a wooden tiger standing 
                         In an empty yellow room. 

While you were leaving, I was lying, eastward, 
On my back, like a pharaoh counting 

The layers of muslin wound 
Around my cumbrous (nearly human) 

Hand, counting the days until 
                                               An evermore arrives.


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