L’image est sur le Mur
after John Ashbery
Imagination circulates in the seasons
adrift beneath the mind. A man
grabs the impact, the known solution.
This being so, the world responds.
A breath of his innocence swirls in the black domain.
We know why angels refuse such logical dreams,
the strange dismal wailing. The man’s mouth
resonates in the presence of plumes.
The picture retains the wall. But what
desolate shimmer betrays the moment? The ecstasy,
a blue shore, the man talking
about his destiny with only one hand?
A child sprinkles lemon seeds
into the green fountain. She leaves
and the seeds blossom. Now other children
awaken in startled petals.
The fountain supports them like a stem.
Angels caress the outline of a man
in the folds of the fountain.
Which disappears. Are there
catastrophes, conversations on the edge,
or did the vapors reappear when
the man walked away? Are the seeds protected
in the water’s worship, or did the shadows vanish?
Download the podcast (reading by Siona van Dijk)
Shirley J. Brewer is a poet, educator, and workshop facilitator in Baltimore. Shirley won first, second and third prizes in the Maryland Writers’ Association 2010 Short Works Contest for Poetry. Publication credits include Pearl, Comstock Review, Cortland Review, Little Patuxent Review, Passager, Manorborn, Free Lunch, and other journals. Her first poetry collection, A Little Breast Music, was published in 2008 by Passager Books.