For S., at the Boat Pond

Jean Valentine

The newspapers blowing over the street
made her cry, all the birds in New York were crying
because they couldn't speak Greek,

she took nothing with her and went out onto the street.
The day was obscure, one more
lick of the quiet licking at the door,

her soft black magic, swallowing him, the children,
the world: leaving, everyone leaving,

all turning angels or nothing,
nothing or swimming like paradise children.

Jean Valentine was an American poet. She won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2004 for her collection Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003.
Originally published:
April 8, 2022

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