the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




FOUR WORKS
BY ANNIE FINCH

TO VIVIENNE ELIOT

Your gray dress stings in the canopied dawn

(Cassandra has hair that is twisted, and curls)

your eyes aren't closed and your hair is wild

(she is gaunt, very strong, as loud as a gong)

your gray dress stings, and the man is gone

(going morning, and there is nothing she ignores)

your eyes aren't closed, your hair is wild

(If I watch her face curl, burned with anger, the pearl)

your gray dress stings, in the canopied dawn

(that has coated the sand will dissolve in my hand)

================

MOON

Then are you the dense everywhere that moves,
the dark matter they haven't yet walked through?

No, I'm not. I'm just the shining sun,
sometimes covered up by the darkness.

But in your beauty-yes, I know you see-
There is no covering, no constant light.

================

WITHOUT A BIRD

This is a dawn
without a sun

(that has no birds)

This is a dawn
that will not part

(that will not sing)

Night has no birds
that will not sing

(out of this cold)

This is a dawn
This is a dawn

(that is not spring)

================

THE AUGUST PORCH

One afternoon: I think I like it
better for cut browns
apples
lumber

than evening for the ravelling of slats to emerald.

There's no gleam to the wicker.
Shadows might well
not be cast.

The trees are scanty
with the weight
of apples
they have finished.

But wistaria raises
its inchworm head and hunts
for the porch.

Something's waiting to run out on us.
The mist
and creak
of wines is due
when we run out of dusk.