Gustave Klimt, “Fulfillment” (1905).

This poem has been drawn from Vol. 1, No. 9 of the American Reader. For the full portfolio, purchase the issue, available in Barnes and Nobles and independent booksellers nationwide, as well as in our Shoppe.

Bring the huge vernacular.

Bring trysts of jealous

gods and a girl changed into a tree

and the tree, bring it

back or forward into

the foreseeable quantum dawn

shielding opalescent fog.

Bring days

by the road over which cats run

into the evening in diagonal cat shapes.

Please also to send

ninety sorrowing words

from which to choose

as I do not

I do not know

where the horizon is

located night or day to furnish

with cantilevered

messages from creatures

yet unnamed in the animate gusts of

of waiting for speech

that is a wonder thing.

To whom does the poem speak?

To whom is it speaking?


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