poem index

About this Poem 

"Baudelaire lingered in airports where he practiced his poet eye, rendering the everyday exotic, romantic, stark or layered. Like Blake's grain of sand, he saw the world in a hub—until he died, paralyzed, in his mother's arms. The distance between us is a swan song."
Amy King

Baudelaire in Airports

Amy King

Will my arm be enough to reach you?
On whose side is indecision?
You are the mother of material travel,
even in the form of a shoeless child.
It is difficult to place time—especially here.
You aren’t now, and you don’t come here.
The other sameness, an other of the same
in the window before take off.
So she learned past such things the echo.
With the same eye from windows one watches
a person with umbrella, sleek and pointed,
seek sky from its wet roof. As if the bitter low
would be a woman with whiskers,
her eyes desperate, street-view, alone.
How does this view of everything arc the moon?
If a mosquito lands, what happens to the one who flew?
She gives over to the site of red,
another selfless pooling. A hungry pond.
The painting of the person also wears mobile eggs,
and the woman returns to wheat fields
to drink goat’s milk for her meal and bath.
That the body harbors more than combination,
that we are more than alchemy’s process,
that they are agents and actors incognito,
is visible only to those strolling on avenues on lost
streets Parisian, no longer able to be found.

Copyright © 2013 by Amy King. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on April 26, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Amy King

Amy King is the author of I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press, 2011).

by this poet

poem
Man acts as an antenna for the sun
and then: a trout in the milk, 
men who wear kilts after darkness. 
Build a bottle of fish with a few dried figs. 
Dear Shadow,
when did I become that person?  
I mean one who says "plastic glucose" 
without wondering what 
rotten-sweet is? The one who teenagers
represent?
poem
A tiny face of genius & tolerance
brands itself organic
abrupt vampire of himself, of health,
stoned circle of having risen—
 
Why the natural inclination to pet,
to be affection with a soul made of bone
on haunches among honeysuckle
and little else to dine upon?
 
I wasn't able to claim the backs
of my legs