December 19, 2007

Ars Poetica


Iíve written love notes all my lifeó
the letter I dropped from the window, stained and yellow;

the one curled into the beggerís cup.
The empire fell around me

like snow, so the citizens cringed in the streets,
their laces untiedóblank-faced and strange.

Iíve written love notes and I do not know
to whom. In all directions, creased between bricks

or dropped from my fingers into gutters
so someone might find them and smile. Useless notes,

empty and vaguely
sad. I did nothing to help

while the empire limped into the park like a wounded car,
but composed while the crying shuddered

to a close and the buses stalled in the alleys.
Once, a group of hungry girls knotted on the street corner

called my name. Their hair was white
with snow, their lashes wet.

Love notes leaked from my hand as I walked past.
I have always been a gorgeous mind, light-in-the-eye

and dreaming. Always a work of art, a perfection
of limbs and hair, an arc in the marble

of my writing arm. Down and down my letters fell
while the empire closed.

—Kevin Prufer
____
from National Anthem, forthcoming from Four Way Books, 2008

Posted by dwaber at December 19, 2007 02:47 PM