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by Peter Viereck

Come stay with what can’t stay.
Trust only what fades away.
Skies wish they’d made us button-eyed.
In autumn only man is heavy-eyed.
Such eyes: sky-storming wings.
We first don’t know we’re things.
When we do, we’re not.
When we’re not, we wake as rings:
A circle, not a dot.
Are we a sick-gene’s blunder?
Call us the unthing wonder.

Go leave with what’s not staying.
Trust only the ebb-half of seas.
Singing is not quite fading.
Euterp¯e. Euphonies.
Autumn’s not quite my opponent.
We are and aren’t things.
An eon must echo a moment.
When a moment has resonant strings.
I’m going to exit sonant,
A harp-nerve strummed by a breeze.


Peter Viereck’s previous book is Tide and Continuities: Last and First Poems (University of Arkansas Press, 1995). His poem in this issue is from his unpublished poetry manuscript Door. A play about him, Deborah Kearney’s Viereck: A Touch of Poet, will premier May 20 at 3:30 at Mount Holyoke College’s Lab Theater. (2000)

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