Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Later Cornell

Look up at the sun risen golden over
greystone two-flats; rest your eyes

on two windows at the corner of Clark
and Berwyn, each with one word

in white letters in the middle of the glass:
"Ballroom" and "Tango." When the world

is dimmed by nostalgia and longing,
there you will find me, said Joseph Cornell.

When you feel the smooth clasp
of an impossible obsession--ballerina,

opera star, lanky boy in tattered blue jeans
who rides your morning train, there,

says Mr. Cornell, I will be, with a scrap
of velvet, a newspaper clipping

from before the war, a cardboard cutout
of green parakeet.

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