Epithalamion, Memorial Day

By R.A. VILLANUEVA

Forecasts say prepare for rain, so you will—
will keep at the ready tarp and cord, tents

and candles. And you will drink to the gulls
circling and the May sun high above rocks

ahead of you which promise everything
will be just fine. That this is for good. That

you are the answer to Suzhou gardens
lit by the moon, a caldera sunset,

bunkers off the coast at dawn. Allow them
their quiet warships and wreaths. You have wine

in sight of Saturn, peony and drum
and pearl. Hold now to the sound of a life

you’ve waited your life for. Yours is this blue
to swim under, this sky to leap into.

 

R.A. Villanueva is the author of Reliquaria, winner of the 2013 Prairie SchoonerBook Prize. He is also the winner of the 2013 Ninth Letter Literary Award for poetry. A founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, his writing has appeared inAGNI, Gulf Coast, Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency,Bellevue Literary Review, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.

[Click here to purchase your copy of Issue 08]

Epithalamion, Memorial Day

Related Posts

poetry feature image

January 2021 Poetry Feature: Bruce Bond

BRUCE BOND
I was just another creature crawling from the mausoleum, / and I thought, so this is it, the place in the final chapter / where I am judged for all my cruelties, blunders, failures of attention, / and I waited for the furies to take me, or some such host. / But it was just another morning.

Sky full of comets

Poems in Translation from Bestia di gioia

MARIANGELA GUALTIERI
And he soars / saved, outstretched / untouched by the gravity that pins us / down / we deserters of empty spaces and heights / shadows cast / into modest taverns for a bite. / Heads in capitals / of rust. / A lifetime annuity of darkness. / Only a cry can save us now.

poetry feature image

December 2020 Poetry Feature: Denise Duhamel and Jeffrey Harrison

DENISE DUHAMEL
Where was I / when I was 20? I’d already been accepted / as an exchange student, taking my first plane ride / to London where I’d catch a train / to Wales. On that first flight, I sat next to a woman / in a shawl—how old was she? It’s hard to say.