On rain washed paper dried, ink

By Marianne Boruch b. 1950 Marianne Boruch
On rain washed paper dried, ink
still blurs. But all words
are stains. The paper’s rippled
lunar, mountain and crater,

and seas on the moon, misnomer
of plains that looked like
water once, no-end-to-it shadows,
fractal to fractal. The telescope’s eye

fooled the eye. From there, does
earth rise and set? Or a thrush,
would it sing its trouble backward?—
the most private tremor first, then

the public part, famously
melodic but fierce, really it’s
fierce: stay   the fuck   away. I know
that lie, Sea of Tranquility.

Source: Poetry (October 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

View this poem in its original format

October 2009
 Marianne  Boruch


Poet and essayist Marianne Boruch grew up in Chicago. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including, most recently, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (2016); Cadaver, Speak (2014); The Book of Hours (2011), which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Grace, Fallen from (2008); and Poems: New & Selected (2004). Her memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (2011), concerns a hitchhiking trip she took in 1971. In the Blue . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.