by judith skillman
I’ve risen like the day moon
into a sky entirely azure. I’m a venture,
the angels will invest in me.
Little by little I trained myself
on wine—now I can put away
half a bottle. I’ll fill the gaps
in all your conversations. Nothing
stagnant will grow, no rest marks,
no space between notes of this allegro.
I’ve no room for any silence
except the one I make when I pick up
my needles to knit—when
from the circular needles
Joseph’s coat grows in cabled stitches
you’ll wear when winter freezes
the machines idling now between
chops at gratuitous trees, those
that keep sun from infecting rooftops.
I’ve risen like Jesus from the dead
and no one can hold me down,
not the stone, nor the women who’d nag
a Roman soldier till he caved.
along beside you, lenticular as a cloud,
undeniable as a mountain, and you
won’t know what hit you—whether
it happened in Prague or Paris,
Venice or Rome, only that love’s
an old woman with a tear in her eye
from laughing, and death’s a cliché
holding its sides, ribs broken, the whole
carapace crumbling like the Parthenon
when time was at its best
and still had a chance to affect
what I built sidewise in order for you
to learn to lean—but nobly, akin to the tower
of Pisa, into your own shadows.