Interval in late June


If a scent had wings–whisking past you.

Sunk in the haymows of your longing,

Beyond the last camera roll,

Stitched inside the heart’s silk repository,

Inside the sealed envelopes of this world–

Within the marrow of every summer
     there ever was or will be. 


The long sleep that brings no restoration,
awakens you only wanting
more.  All the images 
pressed down 
and unremembered–
sedimentary dreaming

Downpours and mist like exhalations
of melancholy made visible,
a forest density of deep
green dreaming and rain. 


            after Paul Zimmer

I am sitting beside Shakespeare
in Gertrude Stein’s studio.
We are listening to John Keats 
recite an ode.  
The mullioned windows are flung open–
brightness unheard of gushes in–
one nightingale perches 
on a particular beam of sun.

Just now, Emily D. glides in,
arms linked with the other Emily.
Charlotte follows close behind,
the sequel to Jane Eyre in her hands. 

Renoir sets up his easel, a cigar 
hanging off his lips, while Emerson and Jung
smile from the settee. 
Johannes and Clare settle close 
on the silk-draped piano bench,
their fingers nearly touching.

Outside, Satchmo and Dizzy 
are warming up in the gazebo.
Mozart chats on the lawn with Friday Kahlo.
Just now, Monet arrives
offering a bouquet of water lilies splashed
with water and light–a gift from our Hostess
who is everywhere
though unseen.  


An old woman I know 
tells me she loves the coldest winter–
she braces up against it,
forces her strength upon it.
She says she knows more of herself
this way–hardship
of each gripped moment–
conquered ice, 
heart’s fire
dared to rise and spread and more fiercely burn.  


          Getty Center

Arcs of clarity, slim streams 
plashing into the long ponds–
aquamarine flashing in my sight,
sun melding with stone.

       I could stay for hours, or forever
allowing the drowse to catch on,
float me along endless 
rivulets of water dreams.  

About the contributor

Andrea Potos is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently Mothershell (Kelsay Books), A Stone to Carry Home (Salmon Poetry), Arrows of Light (Iris Press), and An Ink Like Early Twilight (Salmon Poetry). Several of her books have received Outstanding Achievement Awards in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association. She also received the William Stafford Prize in Poetry from Rosebud Magazine, and the James Hearst Poetry Prize from the North American Review. Her poems can be found widely in print and online. She is currently at work on another collection!

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