[from Donald Revell's Beautiful Shirt, Wesleyan, 1994]
A wine glass
out all night
overflowed with moths.
and they were a camp-system.
A more obsessed hand or more accurate would grasp
at the nearer thing, the glass a tulip, the system
a bulb of poisons. The swarm retires. Domestic pets
are loosed again into the backyards, and the mowers
resume their insect labors down to the powerlines.
Exposed to air
unhealed and bled.
When only fracture
is silence only silence
is useful, and wings
cure the dead, careful to lay them into tall glasses.
The out-of-doors is glassy poisoning, mother of the
last desire to take flight out of pure, of pure hatred
of the air. My mother's head is not your head. Glass
aviates over the railways, over the electric ropes and
Europe killing not America
parch to overflowing.
Beautiful Shirt (Wesleyan Poetry)