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Catafalque

by Dore Kiesselbach


There are dragonflies in Manhattan
I learn when one uses me to rest.
I keep as still as I can, to be now
what I havenít been to any person,
a refuge, steady, reliable.
No one made me this way
any more than the sky makes
the dragonfly stagger when
a starling crosses overhead.
Thatís what I say to myself.
Were it to breathe fire on my finger
I would feel it as the pinch
of someone who wants
to believe he is dreaming.
Few of the boats driven
on the summer water
have carved dragonfly
prows, though wings
were oars on oars
before anything not
meant for water went there.

 

Dore Kiesselbach studied creative writing at Oberlin College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, then practiced housing law in New York City for several years before refocusing on poetry post-9/11. His first collection, Salt Pier (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012), received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and contains work for which he was awarded Britainís Bridport Prize. New work appears or is forthcoming in Malahat Review, Plume, Poetry Review, and Stand. (12/2013)


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