have put it on for no one.
long night is about to get longer.
There's a baritone color to the upstairs rooms,
the papered smell of birds flying.
someone is preparing for eternity, an incomplete
occupation at best.
is as grateful as you get:
numberless music from the furnace, wardrobe's closed
boundary, the South's cottonfield beds rising above you
in a confusion of goose-down and eyelet.
cupboards are suddenly crowded
with shattered green glass.
A vine winds the iron staircase, despairing.
kneel upon an opened book, feel this misunderstood, beside
and cautioned to look into a mirror. Nothing
disappears faster than the face. Right now
are as close as the cold, filling the bathtub
with your falling-out white hair. Hear
but it can borrow you a door to the next world
leaving no witnesses. For: Keepsake.
sympathy. Carphology's language.
Keep it in the family, keep it to yourself.
are your own grave company at last.
Karina Byrne is a teacher, fine artist and full time Regional
Director of the Poetry Society of America. A five time Pushcart
Prize nominee, Elenas poems have appeared or are forthcoming
in The Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Ploughshares,
The Colorado Review, Nimrod, Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner,
Parnassus and The Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook
of American Poetry, among many others. Elena has just completed
her first book of poems, Flammable Bird, and is working on another,
Masque and a collection of essays entitled Poetry and Insignificance.
She was recently nominated for a Sundance Writing Fellowship.