They bring from the earth’s end and lay at feet
And then the phantoms fall
And we stand alone on the skinned plain
The stars are everything
You can lie on them like a penitential bed
How do these illusions profit us?
Should we not swear off poetry like the philosopher?
Scooping out our chests to resemble the empty tomb?
But this soft feathering of these flying shadows
How they caress the cheek and flutter the hand
The girl turns away from Pompeii into umber
The Odalisque gives up only her back
Faceless and unhanded the Victory soars
Shadowing her broken self as eye does eye
Pomp’s beauty lies in its extinction
Gold-leaf blurring forever under the thumb
by Sophia Nugent-Siegal ©