I draw the praise-lines
                 of a letter
           alpha or omega
to honor light & air
which refuse to be drawn as, right now, they engineer
the east-borne career of three
white clouds across New
York October clear
illusion of blue
above named famous bulldogs
ochre, umber, stony,
glassy, linear.

                                                                                          Every day
                                                                                          wherever I am
                                                                                          whenever I look, I see
                                                                                          thanks to one great flame
                                                                              The invisible presences it dims out
                                                                              spiral on, anyhow.
                                                               It gives a point of view
                                                               as moving as I am,
                                                               not its point of view
                                                               but mine, the mine that is ours,
                                                               earthlight. Shadows describe
                                                its distance from us,
                                                until dark and dark’s equalities
                                                when, one by one, come overhead,
                                                the galaxies: flame and its reflections.
                                  Here, the flame has tiny city echoes:
                                  street lamps house lights
                                  boat lights shop fronts neon
                                  ads illuminated river bridges
                                  shadowy pockets
while in my far dark woods
dark itself is stretching & reaching
odorous under the junipers,


Marie Ponsot recently received the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry, given annually by Sewanee Review. In 2013, she was awarded the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement by the Poetry Foundation. Her Collected Poems was published in August by Knopf.

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Published in the November 11, 2016 issue: View Contents
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