August 10, 2007


The poet,
white knuckled
at the podium, drives
the crowd. And reeling,
as if taking on mountainous S curves,
or hydroplaning minefields,
the poet maps metaphors
in shag bark and hickory, staggering
the dappled sundown.

This could be
Kansas, Saigon, Mozambique, Peoria,
a road, bridge, underpass
where the poet dresses deathbeds
in thin sheets
of memory.
The clenched fist
becomes an open hand,
fingers that point
press into prayer.

And our silences
grow ravenous for this.
We choke down whole landscapes,
drink in cloud bursts, throb
with the starlit sky. We lean into the words
like a slow dance pinned to ourselves
like a corsage, like a lover, like a poem,
like the language
of applause.

—Andrena Zawinski
first appeared in The Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Posted by dwaber at August 10, 2007 10:54 AM