poem index

View from a Temporary Window

Joanie Mackowski
Follow the wrecking ball: in a month, it will smash
into this glass

like that housefly. A blueprint unfolds on a table
beside an orchid doubled-

over with white blooms, and out the window, just half a bridge
dives into the front page

of a newspaper the neighbor lifts from her balcony.
Partial to more, we're beckoned

outward, beyond the foundation: and a new picture
window will jut

over the cliff to frame all the Golden Gate's
red seismograph, which cuts

through the fog to the headlands. In a year, in wingback chairs
we'll sit in the air

high above those tiny people strolling
the crumbling sill

down on Bay Street, out there where the orchid's reflection
hovers with a flock of gulls.

From View from a Temporary Window by Joanie Mackowski. Copyright © 2010 by Joanie Mackowski. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Joanie Mackowski

by this poet

poem
Two wandering across the porcelain
Siberia, one alone on the window sill,

four across the ceiling's senseless field
of pale yellow, one negotiating folds

in a towel: tiny, bronze-colored antennae
"strongly elbowed," crawling over Antony

and Cleopatra, face down, unsurprised,
one dead in the mountainous