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"Geographically speaking, this is just California dreaming, from the Sierras to a ranch in Marin, presided over until very recently by an aged blind sheep named Annie. Otherwise it's one of those solitary evenings with an enhanced sense of elucidation."

—C. D. Wright

Imaginary June

C. D. Wright, 1949

Night:     wears itself away    clouds too dense to skim
over the shear granite rim       only a moment before
someone sitting in a mission chair       convinced  101%
convinced    she could see into her very cells
with her unassisted eyes     even into extremophiles
even with the light dispelled     until the mind sets sail
into its private interval of oblivion     a hand falls from its lap
a pen drops to a carpet     a stand of leaves whispers as if
to suggest something tender      yet potentially heart robbing  
Sequel:     to a dream in which faces flare up    fuse     dissolve
but there is a lot of color before their vanishing      and a name
for such phenomena      that comes from the belly of a lamb
rather     not a lamb anymore      from the stomach
of a particular canny but kind and     blind-from-birth ewe 


                                                       for Susie Schlesinger

Copyright © 2013 by C. D. Wright. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on November 4, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

C. D. Wright

C. D. Wright

Author of numerous volumes of poetry, Wright has served as the poet laureate of Rhode Island, and in 2013 was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

by this poet

Some nights I sleep with my dress on. My teeth
are small and even. I don't get headaches.
Since 1971 or before, I have hunted a bench
where I could eat my pimento cheese in peace.
If this were Tennessee and across that river, Arkansas,
I'd meet you in West Memphis tonight. We could
have a big time. Danger,
It was hotter then. It was darker. No sir, it was whiter. Just pick up a paper.

You would never suspect 66% of the population was invisible. You would

never even suspect any of its people were nonwhite until an elusive Negro was

arrested in Chicago or the schedule for the annual Negro Fair was published or
       I take one more drive across town thinking about the retired welding

teacher easing over that rise seeing the parking lot full of white men. I wonder

if he thought he would die in the jungle [where no Vietcong ever called him

[N-word] ] or he would die in front of the bowling alley [without ever having