from Sleeping with Sappho

Stephen Vincent

from Sleeping with Sappho

36.
Andrew
The joker dropped
Melissa a dead letter
]
Out of Delphi without a prayer
Indelicate Jane confuses seaweed with rope
Burnt.  Copper anklets and starched jeans
Without smell, varnished tools
Or white plates spare and smooth.
So she shut up.  Soon after, her mother caved in.
No one hears anything, travel a naysayer.
Then, the daughters of Athena released the horses
Studs each gripped by the legs of Epidore’s finest
The young men with taut ribbed torsos
That they would climb mountains, traverse rivers, ravines [
]unlike to us
]not particular to the gods
To arrive Attica
What is bitter in the tambourine and snare
Ill-fitted to the false speech of outsiders
]
A chorus in which no one transforms the anguish:
Such sad, mean sounds
The streets filled with broken bricks
Folded down, broken statuary
Bitterroot and dry compost
The young on their horses in tears
The women in shredded pink silk
No one can call on anyone, absolutely
No one.  The instruments fail.  Every eye
And chin dropped: an ode for infinite loss,
Infinite forgiveness.

104.
Such large
Rain drops
So few
Fingers