Into this file must go the viewing of films so that characters leave one room
and enter another in which events happen to them in the dark.
History comes to a head in the time of the disaster that structures it.
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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.