A Mini-Chapbook by Vivian Wagner
The glacier scissors through the valley,
but it’s a Baked Alaska, a flambé waiting its turn
to melt, a half-frozen Bananas Foster
preparing to go up in rummy flames and
fold into the crepe of blue-green mountains.
Birches hammer their roots home,
standing their ground, Bonnie and Clyde
in their last shoot-out, outgunned.
And here, over everything, is the sun,
its light a letter asking to be
forgiven for all it can’t help but do.
My dog stepped in the grass and
yelped, howled, his eyes terrored,
his fur pointing up, his ears wild
with misdirection, his paw limp.
Inside, I tried to find the cause,
tried to give whatever weak
comfort I could, not knowing
what had come between him
and everything calm and good.
As his foot swelled, I saw the
purple point where the bee’s
stinger had stuck, in that soft
space between pad and coat.
Now, a day later, healing, he
sleeps, curled into a tight ball,
a planet warding off meteorites,
intent and still, shrouded
from shrillness, longing for
nothing to happen.
The horizon bruises
after a strangely hot day,
pretending it’s an orchid,
and the sky meant for that
to happen, that color.
This is the heat of apologies
unspoken, of carbon building,
of skin aging under the eye.
This is the color of a king’s robe
as he sweeps grandly through
a hall he didn’t pay for.
This is the color of possibility
that cracks through a
poured painting, a
On Drawing a Wine Glass
Filled with Water
Graphite on a page gives
an illusion of clear,
the feeling a glass lives
in its own space, dear
enough, close enough
to touch. It fades,
though, disappears, a rough
of erasures and lines,
shading and sparks,
a magician’s fine
attempt, a lark.
This, the only hope of art.
This, a start.
"On Drawing a Wine Glass/Filled with Water"
Originally published in Making, Origami Poems Project
Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she teaches English at Muskingum University. She's the author of Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel-Kensington), The Village (Kelsay Books), and Making (Origami Poems Project). Visit her website at www.vivianwagner.net.