Joseph Soldati
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Selected Poems

Moon on the Wing | Evening | 1947 | Quo Vadis, Debbie?

evening

 

Evening

Evening, with three syllables, e·ven·ing--
a slow-saying word the mouth hesitates
to let go--the evening of twilight
smoothing out the dents and spikes of day,
soothing the way a hand stroking your face
erases the creases of question and care.
Think of a river evening below the cataracts
or embanked below the wind's whirl;
of coals glowing without a flame;
of birds that fly without dip or swerve,
as if they'd found a groove in the sky.
Think of bread, unleavened,
that will not rise to insistent heat,
of a lake iced beneath a snow, the long
evening of a sandy shore counterpoised
against the sea. Think of how your breathing
softens after love, the evening of your body
dissolving into air.

First published in SOLO: A JOURNAL OF POETRY, No. 6 (2003), and in Apocalypse Clam (2006).

 
 
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