Gillian Conoley

In the corrugated rungs

of rose-colored and canted sunset, 

bootsoles leave little hexes

on the sidewalk, I have forgotten what flag I fly. 

A dead queen from a rainy town

rides the somnambulate bat 

to the corner of the evening panic.

An old story paying a call in the wee hours. 

Lovers in third floor windows

with their backlit hair and boxes of geraniums 

have it out,

each in their own way 

masterful, like movies

playing silently from televisions. 

Fate, a siren, a wooden floor,

reticent chairs, becalmed objects, 

real kisses, kisses in daydreams,

fading horns of the city - a limousine retreats, 

I can hear the stopped tune of the workplace. Voices sink

into the intersection like a river marked 

in different colored inks, each route hidden

as in a crowded room where sounds and images 

float away, and no one can see

the hands at the piano. 

Time so full of speed and accuracy,

digital river. In neon 

a small word

magnifies, and shrinks back 

to its normal size,

infinitesimal. The urge 

toward transcendency

keeping us alive. 

Found In Volume 25, No. 02
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Gillian Conoley
About the Author

Gillian Conoley is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Peace (2014), The Plot Genie (2009), Profane Halo (2005), Lovers In The Used World (2001), and Tall Stranger (1991), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Her work has been featured in many anthologies, including American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry (2009), Lyric Postmodernisms: An Anthology of Contemporary Innovative Poetries (2008), and Best American Poetry (1997). Her translations of Henri Michaux, collected in Thousand Times Broken: Three Books by Henri Michaux (2014), had never been brought into English before.