Poem | After Ashbery

Danielle Chapman discusses this poem with our critic, Anthony Domestico, on the extended segment of The Commonweal Podcast.


For Olivia

Sky blushes upward like Whiffenpoofs or shirred
eggs weeping the gold-leafed hair of Venetian friars
as I accumulate Italy through texts: You craning to sip
espresso on the Ponte Vecchio in last season’s City
Pedal Pushers, your neck’s “Meanwhile” eliding
eight years’ sorrow as this sky sieves cream off plums
like some Master rouging bottoms in a hamam
or girls troubling over which clouds to call horsetails;
Rome, Amsterdam, and God filtering through a pastor’s
meme: Shia Laboeuf rawring JUST DO IT, illuminating
His Most Holy Name upon the pearl ceiling of all
we’re capable of feeling here, in the latest Millennium
of cirrus wiggling rum-warm, orange-foiled bellies
across gaps in the Brutalist carpark as I round and brake,
round and brake down seven levels into New Haven.

Published in the February 23, 2018 issue: 

Danielle Chapman is the author of a book of poems, Delinquent Palaces. She teaches creative writing at Yale.

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