A marble figure prods a fire. We step
into the sun’s flare. What I feared has happened.
On your skin the lightest touch makes you flinch.
Everywhere we turn, statues’ sunken eyes
spill their vision over stone. No more seeing
where the gold leaves come from. All night this piazza
will be lit with anonymous bodies
held by the broken arms of others.
If I could I would let down their stone-hair
and give them hands to touch the leaves
crowning their heads. I’d graft on
the proportionate finger touching the space
behind the bony ear and adjust the palm
under the dove. Does our flesh makes us true?
Here are the cool lemons I have sliced for you, here
the light-winged hummingbirds asleep by the thistle.
No more needing to prove the dead
were living. No more keeping out the world.
Shawn Fawson resides with her family in Denver, Colorado. Her book Giving Way won the Library of Poetry Book Award and was published by The Bitter Oleander Press in 2010. Her MFA is from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.