Provincetown

By FRANCISCO MÁRQUEZ
Winner of the 2020 DISQUIET Prize for Poetry

 

Fixed at sunset, a wooden blue shack
as if with it a million scenes of shipwrecks,

not black rock or islands of fog rising individual
in a barrenness of salt. It is not that

it was not beautiful, but that I tried to conjure
its momentous light, eternal

that is inside the ordinary, and couldn’t. If I look
backwards, the mysteries forming themselves

in darkness, I remember
the heaviness of heat.

A soporific wave lifting from concrete.
There was more a strangeness

in the dark square of water lifting
from a mallard having submerged,

like the sun into water, than there was
to that wooden place. But to think of it

in exile, in its solitude of water,
to see it turn significant

against what could destroy it,
it was then I saw myself becoming it.

 

 

Francisco Márquez is a poet from Maracaibo, Venezuela, born in Miami, Florida. He is a graduate of the MFA program at NYU, and his work appears in The Brooklyn Rail, Narrative, and Bennington Review, among other publications. He has received support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Tin House, and The Poetry Project, as well as Letras Latinas and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He is assistant web editor at Poets & Writers and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

[Purchase Issue 20 here.]

Provincetown

Related Posts

Growing up

November 2020 Poetry Feature: David Lehman

DAVID LEHMAN
Science explained everything, / the workings of windshield wipers, for example: / “The darkness causes the rain / and comes from the rain, which goes up / to the sky and falls down again / on the windshield and the windows.

Portuguese Restaurant

Islanders

SCOTT LAUGHLIN
I welcome this attitude because it shows they don’t care about me or my tourist dollars. The massive influx of foreign dollars that floated the Portuguese economy but threatened local ways of life in Lisbon… I am grateful to be here, tucked away. I take the menu and try to read…

Cover of The Scent of Buenos Aires

Review: The Scent of Buenos Aires: Stories by Hebe Uhart

JASMINE V. BAILEY
In Argentina, the short story is not what you write until you manage to write a novel; it is a lofty form made central by twentieth-century titans like Julio Cortázar, Jorge Luis Borges and Silvina Ocampo.