The 2River View 24.4 (Summer 2020)

Sharona Muir

The Golden Door
Ten thousand miles in the gouging shoes
bring us to the border
of speech, where what you mean
is swallowed in the mirror of lost faces. 
This phone won’t open the required screen;
the passport’s gone, so’s the wallet.
Night is falling in a foreign city
that has one bed for rent in an erased hotel.  
What is supposed to be
the golden key—
why can’t I remember? Can you remember?

Light of Wandering
Lucretius sought a cause of movement besides the blows
or weight of colliding atoms—the source, he wrote,
of our inborn capability to act freely.
He thought it was a swerve of atoms, like
raindrops slipping out of parallel down a pane.  
And when one still dreams
that what the soul is forced to suffer
as though in chains, must have a reason—
that too is a native wandering
like Heisenberg’s uncertain shimmer between ‘not’ and ‘is.’ 

Venus, founder of our race,
we dedicate our freedom 
to you, with the soul’s impassioned errancy

beyond blows and chains, beyond weight and the grave.
Your star walks desolation, shedding rays.

Sharona Muir is the author of four books including Invisible Beasts, a novel. Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review, The New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.

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