- A New Landscape
presents itself. Largeand so soft a river
of scrolling silvercuts it. Buildings intimate
city. I feel dizzy.
An esplanade occurs; itswillows.
Boats like dragonfliesflicker up and down the bank,through the broken shade.
—But whose is the darkfigure straying throughthis papery air,
the sensitive intelligencenecessary to an October
evening? This way, come.
You descend with fin-de-sièclecourage to the current,you swallow black wine
and close your eyes. Before youthe black wavelets crinkleinto sibilants
of assent; above you,the leaves are leaves. [End Page 146]
The leaves are also rain.
When it has been warm, cold sets in,so you walk, someone beside you,
beneath plump white parapetscalled “the wedding cake.”At a certain, curving moment
next to the memorial benchfilmed with dew, he stops.
A swan tears food from submerged stones.He gives you half of a smile
and a sad, swan-colored look. Oh,you look and look. There are eyesbarnacled to the street lamps, eyeson cars, eyes climbing the air, eyes
behind the arrow slits; and a tierof men behind each.
The joke ison them, of course.
He wants to fold youinto his huge houndstooth coat,and he wants to fold into your hair,
into your little humming song;
but you’re alone, dusk has fallen,and its soft informationflits from an office in the cake.
Elsewhere, heavy fruit trees—Venus lingering in a rain barrel.
At the bottom of your purse, your phone
soaks the mascara tube,the brass and steel keys,and a fresh packet of tissuesin glacier light [End Page 147]
Noah Warren is the author of The Destroyer in the Glass (Yale, 2016). He is the recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and is pursuing a PhD in English at UC Berkeley.