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Light Night

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1

A tree, enamel needles,
owl takeoffs shake,
flapping a sound and smell
of underwing, like flags,
the clothy weight of flags.
A cone of silence stuck
with diamonds, the watch
she hunts, the frayed band
broke. It was a black night.
Dawn walked on it, the sun
set its heel. She won’t
find: a boundary of marsh,
the island in the wood.

               2

Stoop, dove, horrid maid,
spread your chiffon on our
wood rot breeding the
Destroying Angel, white,
lathe-shapely, trout-lily
lovely. Taste, and have it.

               3

In a rain-dusk dawn, the
clearing edge, the wood’s
fangs, the clear crystal
twist of a salival stream,
announce you hence. Tear
free of me, mountain, old
home bone, down sheer fear
tears mossed boulders
bound me, pool, deceptive,
trout-full, laugh and
chatter of finch and pecker,
gargle my liquor skin I
catch your face on. Scar
a look and leave. A rust
plush daycoach unfathers
me. A field of crosses. Let
iron clang iron.

James Schuyler, "Light Night" from Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems, edited by James Meetze and Simon Pettet, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2010 by the Estate of James Schuyler. All rights reserved.
Source: Poetry (November 2009)
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Light Night

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