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Two Contemporary Poets

Spring, 2004

Ioanna Warwick

The Soul in September (Nocturne)

I'm doing exercises
in loving myself.
It's like gymnastics,
before the mirror.
'Carissima Ioannissima,'
I whisper,

let those s's go polyphonic,
serpentine in autumnal Eden.
The crickets pulse against
the swoosh of traffic.
Blue evening windows wait
for the milk of first fog.

Today I asked myself,
"What are we made of?"
And answered,
"Of simpler parts."
Cricket by cricket,
we create this autumn night.

One cricket is near
and the others far:
a baroque concerto
with a virtuoso soloist.
A moth circles the kitchen light.
I begin to hum.

Lone human upon the hill,
I climb the hidden
music of the sky.
Pulse by neural pulse,
we create our own constellations
before the mirror of the stars.

O coal turning into diamond,
are we made by love or pain?
O moth lucent over flame,
tell me which is best.
Across the dusk,
an owl spells a soundless yes