Know how to forget

Sharon Dolin

                after Baltasar Gracián

To let your sorrows wear you
             like a hair shirt       shake
off       each foulard around your

neck       unwind and fling
            as from a moving car.
Be no Isadora strangled by her

flare. Be bare-necked and do not
             forget to forget.
Though every silver lining has

a cloud       live within the glint of white 
            fire       the swing set in the sunset
the dimple in each smile        embraces

by the silver lake      ocean
            hush of oh so much
so lush.

More by Sharon Dolin

Avoid Adapting Other People's Negative Views


                          after Epictetus
                      

To gaze upon the fatal
without commiserating gloom:
 
what every friend should be—
not one who rends her coat of doom
 
nor one who lets her ankle rankle
nor her dogged love to the hounds.          
 
Be the cat in catastrophe
who survives eight more dives.
 
Though in the clutch of damage
a dame must age,
 
in the crazy-quilt of guilt
it was never your fault.
 
In the company of morose
always pull out the rose.

Evening Storm

I want to paint the livingness of appearances.
            —Marsden Hartley

What of these evening storms
where foam becomes rock—wave
becomes cove. Inside the billow as
you always dreamed it would be
two men collapse into being.
Like so, the rocks give up their
solid stance. If Hart threw
himself from ship to sea, how
can you, Hartley, hardly alive
in this solitude, not find his
eye inside of you. There is a crest
a recurring tall wave that comes
for you. So little light gets through
other than in sea foam your desire
knit to storm—here is your Maine mountain where the upsurge
the passional thrust gets through.