Thursday Dec 07

PurpuraLia Lia Purpura’s recent books include On Looking (essays, Sarabande Books), a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and King Baby (poems, Alice James Books), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award. Her awards include the AWP Award in Nonfiction, the Ohio State University Press Award in Poetry, NEA and Fulbright Fellowships, three Pushcart prizes, and work in Best American Essays, 2011.  Recent work appears in Agni, Field, The Georgia Review, Orion, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. She is Writer in Residence at Loyola University, Baltimore, MD and teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA Program. Her web site can be found here.

Sunday Morning

I should’ve risen earlier
and walked into town to see
post-everything, strewn,
what now looks like neglect,
still confetti.

Still Life/Dinner

Two purples,
two yellows, a red,
found, probably,
a nice touch.
Not expense
or extravagance.
As dinner is
simpler now,
as a whole
as longing,
as my glass
of ice water is
no longer
the extreme
I couldn’t keep
because it hurt.
Not that again.
But cubes against glass
and glasses arranged
on a table, with olives
and salt in dish,
like a flock
at rest—
most birds
are too nervous
to rest very long.
Mine sit still
because they were taught to.

It crackles
like ice on a lake
in spring.
like the sight
of a red bird
in a bare tree.
at the end of the day
(the day a gift,
just not the one I had
in mind),
how it happens is:
you’re very far, and
that makes the bearings go.