Alla Breve Loving

By C. D. Wright 1949–2016
Three people drinking out of the bottle
in the living room.
A cold rain. Quiet as a mirror.

One of the men
stuffs his handkerchief in his coat,
climbs the stairs with the girl.
The other man is left sitting

at the desk with the wine and the headache,
turning an old Ellington side
over in his mind. And over.

He held her like a saxophone
when she was his girl.
Her tongue trembling at the reed.

The man lying next to her now
thinks of another woman.
Her white breath idling

before he drove off.
He said something about a spell,
watching the snow fall on her shoulders.

The musician
crawls back into his horn,
ancient terrapin
at the approach of the wheel.

C. D. Wright, “Alla Breve Loving” from Steal Away: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by C. D. Wright. Reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P. O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368-0271, www.coppercanyonpress.org.

Source: Steal Away: Selected and New Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2002)

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Poet C. D. Wright 1949–2016

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Music, Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Love, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 C. D. Wright

Biography

C.D. Wright was born in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, the daughter of a judge and a court reporter. She published over a dozen books, including ShallCross (2016); One With Others (2011), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was nominated for a National Book Award; Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008); Like Something Flying Backwards: New and Selected Poems (2007); and Tremble (1996). She also provided the text to . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Music, Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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