The 2River View 18.1 (Fall 2013)

Christine Marshall

Elegy for Day

A white horse with one red eye wings toward you, red tulips suck your air, burning
hair rises from the ash. Day grows hotter with every page. The sidewalk sizzles
when you flick your sweat. Finally the light begins to blue at the edges. Upstairs,
the man who watches news all night scrapes the window open for some evening
air. When you were young, you ate the mercury from the thermometer.
Ran your fingers through the white candle flame. You think of heat as a molten
backbone helping you stand. Imagine yourself in wings, flying up and up,
chasing the sun as it sets.

Elegy for Night

If, when the moon has drizzled to the other side of the river, you are still
huddled on a bench made of skinny green slats by the river’s edge, you will
sing to yourself a song comprised of braided floral wreathes and shepherds’
names. The island hasn’t shifted since last evening, you will sing, even if I like to
pretend it has, as Manhattan raises its shimmering head like a newborn
lamb in the grey light. By then, your legs will be stiffened into the shape
of a wishbone, doubled against your chest. Birds will warble their aubades
in tones as yellow as the sun you imagine crowning on the other side
of the city. Night was the kind of friend whose shoulder you could press your
face into, the kind who would say Here, now, cry, arms closing around
you tight and strong. Night was a blue velvet rabbit’s hole you allowed
yourself to fall through, soft fibers caterpillering your skin. Night has left
its imprint: tracks of night across your cheeks, the shadow cast
behind you as gather your legs in the cool morning light.

Christine Marshall teaches at Davidson College and has been has been a finalist for The Nation's Discovery Prize and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in Agni, Best American Poetry, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, and elsewhere. contact

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