Maureen Alsop

Sanctimony

You are a fine one after all—you among the beginnings
are my beginning. Among delicate patterns of birds, sparks shepherd
sun slim contrails—like a small intimacy, the pewter sky's glassy impression toward night, a ritual with time. Perhaps dear, 

I might judge the shadow of myself, the slight will of my shadow that keeps things just.  

The dead live beneath the reach of snow— 
without intimation I record collusions temporal heat. I keep record of your records. 


Epistemology

1

Bells sounded step by step, fractions marring
the wood's metallic surface, in the year of chance, in the year 
of repetitions. Dismembered waves of grass blew bands
of anonymous starlings. You stand afar, listen 

to the hapless sky's dumbfounded ripeness, mouthing 
turn upon turn.


2

Firetrack’s dry gleam, the almost stroke of auburn
as dusk fell.  We managed. Your body’s roots, a homecoming,
agate birds. I’d tried all day to apologize.  

But we could have lingered all night
through spectral boundaries in which angels were once mentioned—
foreshore fading as after thought. 


(Untitled) Bijouterie (2)

*

Our explorations circulate over passages of “thinking” and “living,” pleased by the incomplete names we read in the circuitous currents.  We dragged planetary warmth through walls: thorny cigar size O’s mark the stream of our irreparability. Like phalanges along star scabbards, restoration experienced on celestial planes. Broken by arrows, both chariot and horse slept through corridors where inadequate footprints scraped the pavement muting the insistent scuff of wheelchairs, children, roosters. The first river we crossed pleased us with its simple afflictions: the bruised green shape we called “water.”  The city took its position with loudspeakers, vaulted terraces against burning mountain-scapes.  The insistence on wandering, that is a real human form of drowning.  A romantic endeavor. Reins carefully sunk upon plaster teeth, delusional clasps of leather etched to gums.


***

Horses make a sympathetic note of the snow, a lovely creaking against blinders. The cardinal woods flicker. You make a sign, amulets & juncos press at the forelock’s center. Angles of periphery are often omitted in language. 


Author Portrait

Maureen Alsop, Ph.D. is the author of two full collections of poetry, Apparition Wren and Mantic.  Her poems have most recently appeared at ditch, Verse Daily, TAB, and Assisi.

View the website of Maureen Alsop