Winter 2001 • Vol. XXIII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2001 |

Venetian Afterthought

If a lit chandelier is lowered Slowly by rope, then a lit chandelier Rises slowly from the canal's murk,   From a mildew's blues and silvers, From the foretold and forestalled depths.   If a star falls at the sky's edge— Ash of a flicked cigarette, A glyph of smoke that picks a lock—   Then the Gates of the Resurrection open Onto a maze, a riddle of interstices.   If and then. If and then. One always leading in this dance. The other making it look inevitable.   Yet there, on the zinc door of dusk, Not a peephole, but Venus.   Figure and ground. Ground and figure. A rope dangles, half-submerged, From the landing like an untrimmed wick in oil.   And the gates, entwined in the vines' marginalia, Bit by salt air and rust, lie unhinged.

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Eric Pankey is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently Not Yet Transfigured (Orison Books, 2021). A chapbook called The Future Perfect: A Fugue is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Pankey is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.

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By Eric Pankey

If a lit chandelier is lowered Slowly by rope, then a lit chandelier Rises slowly from the canal's murk,   From a mildew's blues and silvers, From the foretold and […]

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