[The lamp is like a capsized ship]: Two Voices Muse over the Speaker

The lamp is like a capsized ship

——or like a lantern gone drunk

And she’s to sleep by it

——or stare wide-eyed at its light askew

And she’s to read to it

——to put it to sleep

And she’s to dream in it

——warmly aglow as a leopard

whose body is shadow and light

——Whose body isn’t?

She’s missing again

——Where did she go?


——Is she spiraling?

Less energy than that…

——Will the bedsheets accommodate her?

She’s alone in them, alone where she can

easily breathe

——despite the horrors the stretchers the gasping …?

How can anyone

——breathe easily …. She must

be still as a Bradford Pear in uneasy shadow…

——That tree that self-destructs that tree that neuters the real pear trees

What a blow it was so beautiful and erect at first—

——and she so lonely

Lonely as a cup

——Here is a card:

She needs the Lion today, the one who leaves

gold footprints in the marsh

Copyright © 2024 by Alessandra Lynch. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 5, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.