Two Poems

by Jay Hopler
National Book Award Nominee

issue 56

These Days Could Kill a Man

CRUSHED BY THE SKY—

That would be the headline.

And every olive tree in this garden
Would weep its leaves,

Its silver-green-gray leaves, like a widow weeps
Its glass when a rock sails through
It. I mean…, a window.
Shatter—, shatter—, say the bells
Of Santa Maria in Trastevere. When you’re lost, you’re gone
forever,

Say the birds. Dreadful sorry, say
The clementines.


From a Window

after Eugenio Montale

I saw the hooded crow lift from the
Back wall and fly south, over the village, toward the river.

I saw, her apron sacked with apples,
The caretaker’s daughter come slowly in from the orchard.

I saw the thunderheads bloom in an
Otherwise clear sky and drift, low. And darken the garden.