C. J. Sage Click to

C. J. Sage’s poems have appeared in Antioch Review, Boston Review, Barrow Street, The Journal, Orion, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, the Threepenny Review, et cetera.  Her latest book is The San Simeon Zebras (Salmon Poetry, 2010).  C. J. edits The National Poetry Review and press. She is also a visual artist.

This was not the first time
a figure faded back into the aisle
of pines, sundial spinning.

He was tall.
His wrist wore a bell
he stilled with the other hand.

Hot like a red helmet,
the sun came down and drowned
his head.  The rest of him was black

patch and malformation.
Without a face he might as well
be marigolds mixed with ash.

After the figure was gone,
people traced the outline in the air,
their shadow puppets leaning

against a firefly scrim.
The fireflies dropped away
and the sundial went back to its business.


Many years passed.
An overgrowth of marigold bordered
the fences, spray of ornamentation.

The sundial path was a crossing
for old lambs, and the pines settled by moss.
One might have heard the parade of sap in the ear.


One day, headlights overwhelmed the road,
long list of assumptions
elegantly blanketed in shade,

the grainy light lamped,
nicking telephone poles with its fog,
and the fists of trees like splayed hands eventually

breaking right through into the night.


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