April 2, 2009

Still Life with Metaphysics by Holly Posner

Posted in poetry tagged , at 3:41 pm by placeinthestars

Still Life with Metaphysics

Who knows how many angels can spin on a pin?
If we’ll still need a haircut in Hell? — mysteries
medievalists worked on till dawn. Not us,
we’re content to eat our toast, retire
with a pension and most of our teeth.
Our life une nature morte — still life —
more romantic in French, but in the end
it’s the same dead duck on a table, minus
the cracked walnuts, unspooling orange rind,
cheese knife stippled with pewter light.
The domestic scene’s always tastier on canvas.
Where’s my umbrella? What happened to Disco?
Which one’s the bride? And why was the minister miked?

These are the questions we ask ourselves
as we turn out the lights and climb the stairs
where, if we’re lucky, we’ll dream of angels
twirling on a bed made with hospital corners —
a Virginia reel with its allemande left, dosie-dos,
seraphic trumpeter calling the turns.

~Holly Posner



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