- One Afternoon on Royal Street
after Kelly Cherry
You were reading Les Nègres. I was writingTo César. The sun gleamed like a gold doubloonOver the levee and the early winter bloomOf camellias, the blue flame trembling
In the wall heater. Sun was bloomingWith a cool flame, and you were talkingOver César and the early news. I was writingAnd camellias were listening past you
To the voice of César blooming like a dark sun.Your voice was a blue flame gleamingOn the pages of Les Nègres. The levees were tremblingWinter's darkest gold. Listen: I am talking to you. [End Page 520]
Carolyne Wright's most recent collections are Mania Klepto: The Book of Eulene, A Change of Maps, and Seasons of Mangoes & Brainfire, which won the Blue Lynx Prize and American Book Award. Wright is a contributing editor for the Pushcart Prizes and a senior editor for Lost Horse Press, for which she is coediting the anthology Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Woman Poets Occupy the Workspace. She is on the faculty of the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts' Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program.