Flame under the bubbling water.  
Blue flame. Water ready for tea.
 
Amber infusion soon to be seeping, 
 
Leaves about to uncurl. Here 
Is a tin, a spoon, a cup, an open 
 
Teapot saying, Nobody else but me
 
To nobody else but you: awaken, 
Pour. What are you waiting for?
 

More by Phillis Levin

Part

Of something, separate, not 
Whole; a role, something to play 
While one is separate or parting; 

Also a piece, a section, as in
Part of me is here, part of me 
Is missing; an essential portion,

Something falling to someone 
In division; a particular voice 
Or instrument (also the score

For it), or line of music; 
The line where the hair 
Is parted. A verb: to break 

Or suffer the breaking of, 
Become detached, 
Broken; to go from, leave, 

Take from, sever, as in 
Lord, part me from him, 
I cannot bear to ever

May Day

I've decided to waste my life again,
Like I used to: get drunk on
The light in the leaves, find a wall
Against which something can happen,

Whatever may have happened
Long ago—let a bullet hole echoing
The will of an executioner, a crevice
In which a love note was hidden,

Be a cell where a struggling tendril
Utters a few spare syllables at dawn.
I've decided to waste my life
In a new way, to forget whoever

Touched a hair on my head, because
It doesn't matter what came to pass,
Only that it passed, because we repeat
Ourselves, we repeat ourselves.

I've decided to walk a long way
Out of the way, to allow something
Dreaded to waken for no good reason,
Let it go without saying,

Let it go as it will to the place	
It will go without saying: a wall
Against which a body was pressed
For no good reason, other than this.

Lithuania

 

in memory of Jean Blecker Levin

Not a trace, those days, not a sign
On a map of where you were from,
That farm greener than green

Rolling hills, hay high as a barn
Under skies without end, joy
Rolling too, the way it used to.

Now that you’re gone,
The name of the place reappears.

*

Not a map in the world
Will show where you are,
Now that you are long gone

Under the glowing ground,
Lending yourself to the grass,
Joined at last by Joe, who cried,

As they lowered you down,
“Jenny my love, my life.”

*

Wherever you are, being
Nowhere, show me a way
To be here, you who are gone

Into bottomless loam: ivy
Climbing the walls of waking,
The walls of sleep, show me to

Two on a porch waiting
To see the flesh of their flesh.

Related Poems

Archaic Torso of Apollo

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast's fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.