Song of the City at Night

Carol Frost - 1948-

Whatever hid the sun and moon inside a mountain
brought people there to found the night
where a city swans on river water
laving with light each passing wake,
mesmerizing a couple on the riverbrink.
They seem unaware what is myth
or real, taken up, as it were, by a swan’s bill
and flown to a milkwater world
where it’s possible to drink only the milk
and eat pearls. A gunshot, a siren
interrupts the quiet. Something is thrown
into the river, then the swan is mute.
To sing of this the swan would have to out-swan
itself, Sibelius out-Sibelius Sibelius.

More by Carol Frost

The Part of the Bee's Body Embedded in the Flesh

     The bee-boy, merops apiaster, on sultry thundery days
      filled his bosom between his coarse shirt and his skin
                    with bees—his every meal wild honey.
     He had no apprehension of their stings or didn't mind
and gave himself—his palate, the soft tissues of his throat—
               what Rubens gave to the sun's illumination
               stealing his fingers across a woman's thigh
                  and Van Gogh's brushwork heightened.
                Whatever it means, why not say it hurts—
             the mind's raw, gold coiling whirled against
             air currents, want, beauty? I will say beauty.