Saturday Poem

Summer Departure

..after Georgia O’Keeffe’s Pelvis with Moon

In the reading room, under the spotlight,
where a month flutters against the bulb,
I am reading Charles Simic’s poem ‘Bones’,
the one where he says his roof is covered
with pigeon bones, and he thinks he hears
them, “the little skulls cracking against
the tin”, and in front of me is my wife’s
favorite O’Keeffe painting: Pelvis with Moon.
And I think, how can we not ponder them,
this business of bones, how wind might
sift through them, bleach them with grains
of sand, over time, left on the prairie,
a reminder to all passers-by? A cow grazed
here once, not any cow, but the one my
uncle owned, the one whose milk we drank
as children, its frothy kiss on our lips, bones
of angels, bones left to the bereft, open
wings, a tent risen in homage to solitude,
like the moth who’s stopped its beating
against the heat of the light bulb, now rests
on the lamp’s base, limp and lifeless,
and o, how the mind gives in finally
to this idea of bones, bones, hollow vessels
at the bottom of everything, waiting for light
to fill them, then they will tell their stories.

by Virgil Suarez
from: National Poetry Library