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Emily Wilson

Rookie (1968 / Ohio / United States)

The Sky Is The Lost Orpheum


The shelter of it carved, caved
Across the river, the park and the little Ferris wheel
closed down
The great oaks emptying, russet, gusseted
the hovering slant light leaking from the outer edge
of cloud bed
leads and shawls pulled forth
Thy synchrony of the lost elements recovered
the shivering water surfaces, planar unmeldings, remeldings,
riverine alchemies, unlocketed selves
now the reemergence, the sun pouring global gold
uptilted, gobleted, incanted
Am I not as God made me but stranger?
Made stranger still by what I have seen
at this hour of earth untended, unministered—
light caught up in the river's grooved tread
That sun more like a mass grope out of emptiness
and the black river weeds before it, torn and trained,
rocketed and stark and stuck-to
The tall shadow of the willow grows forth
And the spare stems of the grasses and the rods of the mullein
And these are the stations of this river
The houses and the boats and the parked cars
The growing wedge the ducks make moving forward, the shape
of the element there among the weeds that jut forward,
the mass of the willows growing deeper in green and sundering
The backfall of sun going downward
The surface of the river coming clear of its own admixture
The ducks moving over like slow planes in formation,
barely seen needles hauling white threads,
secretly heeding
The fish in my skin relinquishes
Will I know then what I have become?
The river darkens from its end of trees closing in
There is the sun and this deep depression
Exiting as viewed in this river

Submitted: Monday, July 21, 2014
Edited: Monday, July 21, 2014

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