Mother of Pearl Old Pho­tographs

The Iowa Review - - CONTENTS - Malachi Black

Or so I’d name you, lost scrap of the sky, glow of wrin­kling water on the check­ered kitchen

tile, swirl of wet grasp­ing light in­side each bub­ble clus­tered on the cold lip of a milk glass,

iri­des­cent white but mag­ni­fied and mag­ni­fy­ing, bright as an ice skat­ing rink in the af­ter-hours

dark, present but trans­par­ent as the shadow of a swim­mer cast across lake-bot­tom rocks,

shy as the glim­mer of a new dime dropped in the patched grass in the park, quiet as an eye­lid

as it shuts, night­wise, af­ter love, as yours, strange heart, does while I whis­per to my­self

an­other name, a lit­tle gauze to wrap the pale trace you will leave in­side the morn­ing, like a fog

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