Brooklyn Anchorage

Lisa Jarnot
and at noon I will fall in love 
and nothing will have meaning 
except for the brownness of 
the sky, and tradition, and water 
and in the water off the railway 
in New Haven all the lights 
go on across the sun, and for 
millennia those who kiss fall into 
hospitals, riding trains, wearing 
black shoes, pursued by those 
they love, the Chinese in the armies 
with the shiny sound of Johnny Cash, 
and in my plan to be myself 
I became someone else with
soft lips and a secret life, 
and I left, from an airport, 
in tradition of the water
on the plains, until the train 
started moving and yesterday 
it seemed true that suddenly 
inside of the newspaper 
there was a powerline and 
my heart stopped, and everything 
leaned down from the sky to kill me 
and now the cattails sing.

More by Lisa Jarnot

After Catullus

         For Thomas

In the beginning 
there was grief,
a garden in the
center of a city
lit in rose and green, 
a quickening of the 
air across the wing 
of a plane upon the 
tip of the Labrador Sea
there was gleaming
there, a torque
not finished or forestalling
there was the promise of 
Paris's perpetual pomme 
pressed in gold,
there was only the hole 
in the heel of a sock,
the steam of a since in a
fore-flung damp hotel
there was nothing baked 
or boiled there was a stiffness, 
a whiteness, a heaviness of 
limbs and chips and silvered
peas, there was
this about it—a dipping
of the sun, a singular spoon,
a grid of hymns buried
under the finances of
a pickled cork, there 
was finally that sense of it,
pharmacies or chemists 
or high streets or the shape
of an ear of a baby asleep,
heavily there was that,
let me explain it again let it 
be turned by the heave
of a hundred craven wivers
of verse, let the pendulous
balls of finest quality lead
render it into what I think 
it is. Let me go back
to that garden in the 
center of that city
to know I who I loved.