- This: Beside the Arno
for Paula and William Merwin
Alive while one more island friend heads skywardwith thinned wings—her bereftmay ask who is her ragged Virgil now, or who is his
says his own tomb will read: Valley Spirit—blindseer solo in his garden now, held his late wife's hand,he's certain, were they asleep, was the hand warm, and
then metal chill, what ill wind wore the cape of care?Come, she will.Yet, a garden. Come, it may. Come it will.
—Alive, while she headed for skies with raggedwings. I was married once on such a winter-stillday of Ides. Now solo in verdigris, seeding the sun
Now husbands alone in their gardens Now wives intheir skies or beds I—on the banks of riversand mirrors.
Now, an elder perched in the un-wordedun-nameable rubble of his once marriage bed inbombed Aleppo lists to music truer than my words.
Now, the Fascists have come to power sleeklyas the river rats. Will there be an April? Come shewill. Alive while blood-suns lower where they swim— [End Page 13]
where a yesterday moon mounts a river's glasswhere the long-tailed rats sleek-skim currents betweena last light's hammered silver chains. Jewels? Spirits?
Necklaces? Ides? Only shine. Only anotherprophecy has passed. Then may the poets turnto gardeners. Their small will be done. [End Page 14]
Margo Berdeshevsky is the author of Before The Drought (2017), Between Soul & Stone (2011), But a Passage in Wilderness (2007), and Beautiful Soon Enough (2011), winner of the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Award. Her other honors include the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America. She lives and writes in Paris.