Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Forrest Gander


What closes and then luminous? What opens and then dark?

Kawarazaki Gonjuro steps from his make-up mirror

Into the violet extinction, taste of eggwhite

On his lips.  The ocean's slant eye

Shutting on sand while children at jungle gyms

Parachute upward like seeds

From the dandelion's feathery pappus.

The birdwatcher lifts her glasses.  Halo light

Perforates the curtains of her retinas.

And the valves of every ear blow open.  Then

Rain, not in torrents, but ceaselessly comes

Unchecked out of everywhere with nothing

To slacken it.

© 1999