Seventh Sunday

By Rachel Wetzsteon 1967–2009 Rachel Wetzsteon
Since you were not Hume’s sunrise
I watch the late-May moonrise alone

and a nicotine trance assures me
that summer is coming, and the arrival

of painted toenails; that at last
I truly understand aubades

and James Stewart’s vacant hospital gaze
after his wits have vanished with his love;

that the transmigration of bruises
from skin to spirit brings about

such splendid depths of character
you’ll drop a dime and never hear a sound.

Clouds race across the moon’s pale face.
I have character to spare, it is

no comfort; I will write us down,
making nothing happen, it won’t repair

this ache of failed induction, these eye
that live for sunlight, though the sky stays dark.

Rachel Wetzsteon, “Seventh Sunday” from Sakura Park. Copyright © 2006 by Rachel Wetzsteon. Reprinted by permission of Persea Books.

Source: Sakura Park (Persea Books, 2006)

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Poet Rachel Wetzsteon 1967–2009

Subjects Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets

 Rachel  Wetzsteon


Born in Manhattan, poet and editor Rachel Wetzsteon received degrees from Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University. She made her home in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, which is the setting for many of her formally assured poems. Influenced by Charles Baudelaire, Soren Kierkegaard, and Philip Larkin, Wetzsteon infused her urban and emotional landscapes with a dry wit. As critic Adam . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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