Why knowing is a quality out of fashion and no one can decide to but slips into it or ends up with a painting one has never seen that quality of light before even before having seen it in between pages of another book and not remembering who knows or recognizing the questionable quality of light on her face as
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A blurry photograph
The tree azalea overwhelms the evening with its scent,
defining everything and the endless fields.
Walking away, suddenly, it slices off and is gone.
The visible object blurs open in front of you,
the outline of a branch folds back into itself, then clarifies—just as you turn away—
and the glass hardens into glass
as you go about taking care of things abstractedly
one thing shelved after another, as if they were already in the past,
needing nothing from you until, smashing itself on the tile floor,
the present cracks open the aftermath of itself.
Born in 1940, Martha Ronk is the author of several collections of poetry, including Vertigo (Coffee House Press, 2007), which was selected by C.D. Wright as a part of the National Poetry Series.