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This Blue Vase

by Peter Campion

shows more than the morning clarities
of sun through leaves than through these windows.
Each thing is imbued by others. And staring
at the convex glass, I see the falls
in the one picture that held me enthralled
while you walked on through the gallery.

Even back then I must have felt
the photograph’s stark black and white
trapping the glow off tons of water
in its whole minute of exposure
one hundred years before we were born
as weirdly relevant: how barns
and long gone houses’ clapboard sides
above where shadowed cliff-face slid
vertiginously toward the falls
reflected all my naïve bewilderment
seeing what I’d thought permanent
turn so starkly half unreal.

But this morning, watching sunlight steal
across this table’s lacquered pine,
I still sense, through the smallest glints,
your presence still fusing all I see with you.
Blue irises from this vase’s blue.


Peter Campion is a Jones Lecturer in Poetry at Stanford University. His poems have recently appeared in PN Review, Slate, Southwest Review, TriQuarterly, and other journals. (9/2003)

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