Why the image is what is graven. The image
that the sphinx lionizes, looking onto the desert,
and endless land of end, laying with its
lion's paws without thorns embedded (the sparrows
feed on ladybugs, wings like grass). Egypt of
museum, libraries, Zig-a-Zags, the paper of dollar bills.
Outside of the Louvre, they build a diamond of glass.
Sycamores to any city is a better gate and one
that keeps extending its hollow walls of leafshade
because it’s in the shadows where anything
is real. (seeds flicker in their eyes, like light–
the sparrows feeding) Cavern of inevitabilities,
is it only bats who seek limestone springs?
(hair of the sparrows' wings parting) A cup of old
coffee congeals into a message: star of cream
on its cold skin forming. A nebula of stitch-
work is the dew on a spider's web, joining
grass stalk to seedling (all about the feeder,
petals of the sparrows wings) warehouse
and factory buildings empty or filled with the stuff
of birds' nests (the swallows are fidgeting):
straw heaps and splintered two by fours, dust
and gravel and fermented feed (the stuff of
Philip Kobylarz is a teacher and writer of fiction, poetry, book reviews, and essays. He has worked as a journalist and film critic for newspapers in Memphis, TN. His work appears in such publications as Paris Review, Poetry, and The Best American Poetry series. The author of a book of poems concerning life in the south of France, he has a collection of short fiction and a book-length essay forthcoming.