From Lviv In March

By NICK MAIONE

 

biblical painting.

Lviv, Ukraine

from Lviv in March

 

1.

            A low-voltage day
didn’t know we had those
the tea won’t boil
thoughts like thieves
take the coins in the hem
leave our coat

the spirit smiles
the idea of a smile

like a kid told to for a photograph
until the photographer
or her mother makes her laugh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

let’s fire Andrew of Crete’s canon
of repentance at the
rain rain rain rain

felix sickness      
radieux sadness
is the
same same same
same

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

one can almost make out the words

something about washing in a pool and not staying
chasing the whoness here and there

words we can’t read might still read us
something about an invisible fortress
given these materials
sandbag yoke
heavy but being heavy stops bullets
or acts as a fulcrum
in time and space of peace

the word peace reads us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

an image
of an image
of an image
of an image
of an image —…

however far away we imago
if one of these is Dei
aren’t they all

Mary’s lion arrives from Egypt
to help dig

a place for new nakedness
new lines drawn it’s true
whose body was to her flesh
as her countenance was to her face

best dressed in her office
best fabric for grace to get hold

leave unworthiness to die of thirst

leave home and a home is built                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a question
from which considerations to move
laid out on the table
a nice table to work on

something welded and useful
in an age of presidents credentialed
by the entertainment industry
says an icon-restorer

we buy bulgur and smoked fish
share disgusting cherry bourbon
in attic apartments
expose false questions
and pale breasts in theaters

as memento mori as a coffin in church
candles around a black coffin
one size too small for adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the tram rumbles by—
someone’s breaking in
the heater turning on—
someone’s breaking out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

            The onion dances with the garlic
all around the world
Emmanuel’s turn on the harmonica

here is oil on the surface
here is a motif in the boy
there is an angel in the angel
if done so that there would be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to think of going back to dusty Nazareth
any life at all
any action, quiet or not
does nothing
not one thing
to repel the consequences of general
or one person’s hatred

if anything draws it toward itself
as a kind of concrete sculpture
of a holy person
face down on a trampoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

yellow worm moon
tuned the grey sky purple colors

a Slav night

this darkness some of the finest
ground

these candles get so close
to the cinnabar robe
the blessèd materials
step inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the icon almost writes itself these days

and these words may be true words
but they may not be ours to say

will we know it though
which are ours to say

 

Nick Maione‘s work has appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, The Common, jubilat, and TriQuarterly, among other journals. A recent finalist for the National Poetry Series and Paraclete Poetry Prize, he holds an MFA from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Nick edits the online recitation journal Windfall Room and is the founder & director of Orein Arts Residency in Upstate New York.

From Lviv In March

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