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Serenade

                                    Virginia Konchan


That there should be ceremony.
A way into the photo album
before sepia became de rigueur.
That there should be upright collars,
a flower on the mantle as a timepiece.
In this way the flower does not differ
from the camera itself, from the lucidity
of the operative lens with its shuttlecock
eye, closing when done after recording
the blurred colors of transient things.
I dream of Ruth, stock-still amid the corn.
I dream you, your staff laid waste
on fertile soil. That there should be fruit.
That it should be proffered and initially
refused. That paradise should pile
up on your ship, oranges at the helm
of the bodhisattva’s sumptuous robe.
But before union, leave-taking.
The gondolier idles in queue.
The last tremolo string of the principal
cellist should convey, sotto voce,
I was commissioned for you.


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