Jorie Graham


San Sepolcro


In this blue light
I can take you there,
snow having made me
a world of bone
seen through to. This
is my house,

my section of Etruscan
wall, my neighbor's
lemontrees, and, just below
the lower church,
the airplane factory.
A rooster

crows all day from mist
outside the walls.
There's milk on the air,
ice on the oily
lemonskins. How clean
the mind is,

holy grave. It is this girl
by Piero
della Francesca, unbuttoning
her blue dress,
her mantle of weather,
to go into

labor. Come, we can go in.
It is before
the birth of god. No one
has risen yet
to the museums, to the assembly
line--bodies

and wings--to the open air
market. This is
what the living do: go in.
It's a long way.
And the dress keeps opening
from eternity

to privacy, quickening.
Inside, at the heart,
is tragedy, the present moment
forever stillborn,
but going in, each breath
is a button

coming undone, something terribly
nimble-fingered
finding all of the stops.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Sheila Frank (10/20/2009 10:49:00 PM)

    Many vivid moments that take me beyond the poem. Favorite lines 'each breath is a button coming undone' slows the movement even more following'stillborn'. Also 'snow having made me a world of bone' combining an outer and inner element. Very beautiful. I heard Jorie speak with her mother this evening and read some of her work. A wonderful evening of BIG MINDS. (Report) Reply

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