Variations on Some of Dante’s Last Lines

And move and hold back
entering by the highroad through the words
and fall like a person hit by sleep
arriving at the place without light
And fall like a dead body falls
and find there the great enemy
and come to a tower all of stones
such that through it the earth opens
We pass between the martyrs and the high walls
even up there water is pouring out
then turning and fording again
sling the noose from the roof of the house
And each and every vapor spent
over winning and not losing
in which it stands caught out
fleet then catapults like a stone
Filling our view
whereupon another valley is revealed

Norma Cole, "Variations on Some of Dante’s Last Lines" from Where Shadows Will, City Lights Spotlight No. 1. Copyright © 2009 by Norma Cole.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.
Source: Where Shadows Will (City Lights Books, 2009)
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