Then Abraham

Then an old man came down out of the thicket,
with an axe on his shoulder, and with him

two people made out of light
—one a blameless son,

the other like a Vermeer girl,
on their way back down with the old man.

Still, all the history of the world
happens at once: In the rain, a young man

holds out a blue cloth
to caress her head

at the landing-pier
of the new bride.

You can’t get beauty. (Still,
in its longing it flies to you.)

New Translations Featured in PI 13/14:

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