# 9

By Anselm Parlatore

Perhaps, when we are old, we will be permitted

to spread ourselves out and empty into a delta…

Rilke in a letter to Lou Andreas-Salomé  08/08/1903





River’s broad swollenness a longing

has led us on along solemn

& calm, mellifluous nuances

where the radiance began

all the selfless gestures

leading into many forgotten

faded bowers, to the dark poets.





I spoke of you. I named you.

The lunettes of the high trellises

you quietly climbed now a torrent

of memory that time has rolled over


a densely woven swatch of river

that is our happiness, our life.





You wove a garland, a thin black braid

a terrifying velvet mourning brocade

that the scavenging crows picked at


silver threads of the inconceivable, miraculous.


& then your tent on the river bank

a pavilion with cords of twisted gold

your retinue glistening in moonlight.





So, we continue in our abandonments

our precautions gradually becoming glances

obligations tainted by grace

clean bones in the hollow of a reliquary.


Your old, still beautiful dresses

deep in our cedar trunk. With the diaries. Gloves.



Anselm Parlatore studied creative writing @ Cornell & Dartmouth & edited Granite & Bluefish magazines. He has taught in “Poetry in the Schools Program” in NH & in NY. He has published over a dozen volumes of poetry & has published work in many magazines. He lives in Washington.

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