Atlantis by Mark Doty

By Mark Doty

The poignant, comprehensive new number of poetry from the writer of My Alexandria--1993 winner of the nationwide e-book Critics Circle Award, l. a. instances ebook Award, 1993 nationwide e-book Award Finalist.

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Example text

Names that come through are echoing, Names of storms, of planets, Ghosts, pounding the flats of their palms on the iron, To clatter and scatter downhill, aiming like lead for The cliff, its rocks, an acre of noise. They bring with them heavy, rounded dreams. But I'm trying and trying to dream of you, with your wizard's spoon, with your view of the lake, With your spells to split metal. Surely you'll make a spell for me now, Say it in more than words. The broken edges of iron are white; its texture is silver.

People have died in every room of that house. The new tenants Walk through those bodies as if they were holograms, While we stay outside in the garden, displaced Down to the corner where the last circle of sun Hides on the wall of Mr. Dolan's greenhouse. We live there as simply as mice; we've no one left to murder. v After the Cataclysm Behind the rubble of water and rock, the upended shards of the avalanche, Under the overhanging cliff, In a house with its back to the waterfall, All the waters of earth are awake at our feet, All the fish of the air are making their cries, The rain comes down like tomorrow; fog Closes us in, the fireplace Swallows every timber of our belongings; No one ever knocks at the door, the water Is a turmoil that pulls the Sun off its cloud-covered route, The upper sky out of its smear in the Milky Way, Pulls the center loose, with a tearing of soft wet cords.

Is there a comfort in carrying something? It's with me in your vinyl corridors; it's heavy Like the last stages of doubt; it changes my shadow; it alters The way I want for you, the way I walk. The Sea Creature It returns blinded in the night, Cries outside my door: Let me in; You made me, seal's sleek fur, brain That steered me back to you, blind in the dark, worm Nudging doorsteps with my nose: this one, this one, Then finally, familiar entrance, the way loved. Lost in a dark world, jaws grinning, Water crusted on my pelt; Your empty spaces, human being Are grown together in a barbed-wire hedge.

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