By Jeanine Stevens

After Verlaine


Your spirit is a living landscape

where charms obscure rows of birch.

Revelers in evening dress move to a lute,

seem melancholy in their leafy disguise.


In a lower key, they chant melodies

of victorious love and the wonders of life,

yet, they do not have l’air of happiness,

and their songs sink to nocturne in the moonlight.


The same calm and lovely light inspires

jets in the fountain to sob with rapture

at water’s gush, the holy spouts

that spray the streaked and marbled statues.

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