after David Shapiro
Out of the evening, ash ate the ground
A mouth of identical substance was deleted and the dress,
torn to glittering scarves, less carelessly
Four survivors walked out of the Indian
Earth as clouds, clouds as a corpse
Evening as a victim one fully rendered
In wide white chalk and suturing the darkened center
Of its ownerless outline.
And a leaden skiff leaving us on land
January in July and the Old Testament
Proper nouns: presence.
Performance, pageantry, coup de grâce.
Like the dull female peacock near the grey fir
Palpable isolation and palpable intention. Protuberance.
Prisca’s grave prelude.
Innocence white Experience glossy red Songs are always green
I shun you in reach
I find you in distance
Your mask like a forest painted on both sides of the stage
by Noah Eli Gordon
published in New American Writing #26