Bea Garth   © 2015 All Rights Reserved

from Portraits of Imaginary Poets

This moment only seems to repeat. It is a moment of near stasis, a moment with a
scabrous texture; it peels off and grows back, peels off, imperceptibly alters, grows back.
Years go by. Each day the wind hones the rocks that line the mountain, a single grain at
a time. The poet runs his finger along the flaking gilt edges of the ancient book. When
will he be able to lift its cover? That wretched tree up the path won’t feed him forever.
He practices holding his brush with his crabbed toes. His master has reduced his own
body to a string of brushstrokes, wispy and not inexact. The living part of him rings in
each hour like a tin bird. The poet knows no sleep without this voice. Millions of years
go by. The poet peels off, peels off, gone brown and dry and crumbled, unread, his
mountain worn to a plain.


Susan Cronin
Copyright © 2015  

Susan Cronin studied at Rutgers University, Sarah Lawrence College, and The New School, where she earned an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Mid-American Review, Octopus, RHINO, Quaint, White Stag, and Nashville Review.

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