FALL 2011

Elena Byrne


that once blurred the heather bells   come

yet irreverent,   come first from complicit silence, come
like my mind thinking, from this reddened scullery island at the center
of the sea, with the arrival of darkness

because a moth won’t fly by day, because   darkness drops like a knife
from the day’s final autobiography when   the self almost perishes,

from that leaden waste of waters   where   We float, we float,
hum and murmur, make ourselves over, deliberately

imperfect, I mean, caught in the act

like a   string of six little fish that let themselves be caught,
like thinking
                        traveling in foreign parts:

like   forks laid straight   to be picked up and put down
again, the   floor strewn,  below you, with fallen objects: paint brushes
knitting threads, hat pins and the  sea-holly   ruin
of words,   mere scrawls:                                                  
                                           the  moth comes
from the bedroom window you have opened where you can see
the road shoving the dark before it…The dark shut down behind it.

It comes from the window   behind yellow blinds,   this moth, dashed
from candle to candle whose own frock-light casts out behind it like

some wild semblance of life   somehow   left out from fear
where we can still walk naked past mirrors, where we can still
soliloquy our way back
                                    from room to room full of paper fuchsia flowers,

where we   rattle and flesh,  moth-ering toward the future and its   eyeless book,


among photos,   satiety and doom:  like dark matter, like thought
inferred:  the history of moths

that keep on coming, like note scraps torn out from
each interlude of thinking

because you don’t need to know anything at the beginning,
because starting yourself

over again,
                        beauty is almost always dumb.


Freelance teacher, reviewer for ForeWord Reviews, a Contributing Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Programs Director for The Ruskin Art Club, and Executive Director of AVK ARTS, Elena Karina Byrne is author of The Flammable Bird and Masque (Tupelo Press), the forthcoming Burnt Violin (poetry, Tupelo Press 2012) and Voyeur Hour: Poetry, Art and Desire (essays, Tupelo Press, 2013). 2009 Pushcart Prize Winner & Best American Poetry 2005 recipient, Elena's work can be found in APR, Ploughshares, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, Denver Quarterly, Poetry, Tri Quarterly, Volt, and Drunken Boat, among others.



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