What’s death? Horizon kept moving
by time & denial? Hank of water hung in air
where love once stood, naked among stones?
His hand there. By which I mean here?

Ink-steeped wolf, boar, fox bristles
lineate feet, mons, breast, heart
in conjuring vista: the fist itching opens.
A graveyard, too, a cosmos of parts;

platitude fog suckling distance
as—wind-chime singing in a squall of snow,
in a coffin too big for its cookie-cut vault—
friend’s body descends. Four men scrambling & a saw

to make box fit hole. What leaves leaves us shaking.
You, moth: undress my face. Be more than made up

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Related Poetry

Now I Lay Me Down


Judith Sornberger



Richard Jones

image of an individual in a church looking upwards and maybe taking a photo; her back is to the camera.

The Spirit of Promise


Daniel Donaghy

Labyrinth, Chartres


Melissa Range

Pin It on Pinterest