Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2019  Vol. 18 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Vanishing

I arrive in yet another clearing and feel sorrow,
the kind of loss one feels having arrived
after the party is over, and the room stinks
of stale meat, sweet juices, sweat, and the cooling
of morning air—that lingering dew on the grass,
ribbons soggy, the detritus of desire.
Of course, there was no party here, nor in
this clearing deep in the forest—not a party
of bodies, although I can be forgiven,
standing among the pink petals of the crepe
myrtles, to imagine the dark naked bodies
of dancers, spinning while the soft petals
fall over them in the insistent moon glow
that makes everything hopeful. Off to the east,
once you position the sounds, the tick
of insects, the revenant of your footfall,
the call of blackbirds; you can then hear
the ocean’s murmur, and there is the path
the dancers would have taken, following
the sea’s pull, their bodies clothed in the sweat-
held petals. I envy them this vanishing.  

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