Does staring into the black and white contours of a photo
enable a rapprochement with the unreality of one’s own life,
a way to see peculiarity as a back staircase in an old house in a city
so memorably far, dark but navigable, the stairs lacking undulation,
sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox
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.