Journal: April 19 : The Southern Tier Poem by Paul Blackburn

Journal: April 19 : The Southern Tier

look out the window in upstate New York, see

the Mediterranean stretching out below me

down the rocky hillside at Faro, three

years, two months, fourteen days earlier .

8:25 A. M.

Rosemary gone back to sleep, pink & white . I

stand at the livingroom window drinking coffee, open

the doors to the balcony . Warmth beginning, tho

I wrap my hands around the cup, count

fishing boats in the sunglare, moving shoreward now

slowly, or

sitting there motionless on the flat sea .

a fat blue arm stretches out from the coast, ripples

where wind and currents show

muscle below the blue skin of sea

stretched out below me .

The coffee's

cold toward the end of the cup . I go

back to the kitchen for more hot . put

orange in bathrobe pocket, reach for knife, return

to the balcony with the fresh cup where the flat blue sea

fills my eye in the sunglare . stretches out below me.

The Southern Tier: the maple outside the window

warms in the early sun . red buds at the ends of branches

commence their slow bursting . Green soon

Joan moves

her legs against mine in the hall, goes down to

start my egg . Carlos thumps the lower stairs . We move.

All our farewells al-

ready prepared inside us . aaaall our

deaths we carry inside us, double-yolked, the

fragile toughness of the shell . it makes

sustenance possible, makes love possible

as the red buds break against the sunglight

possible green, as legs move against legs

possible softnesses . The soft-boiled

egg is ready now .

Now we eat.

19 . IV . 71

Paul Blackburn

Paul Blackburn

St. Albans, Vermont
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