under water, behind glass
eight rabbits in reins settle their / cottontail feet in the molasses earth / and begin their whimsical dancing
how many / times must I be broken and reassembled!
The air was a season they had bought…
My mind / Is like the harp strings, with a breeze blowing always / And no rest in sight.
Let us eat nothing but darkness / refuse our stale orbit / and walk only in sleep
The eye leans out to those white wings / Molded in flight like waxen things / To slender stems.
the city’s not so big, the / hills surround it.
In the night I strike a match, / one little glory, a flame / the world surrounds
Leaving Mother Waiting for Father The evening went on; I got very old. She kept telling me it didn’t matter. The real man would come back soon. We waited. We had alarms fixed, vases of white and purple flowers ready to thrust on him should he. We had to sell the place in a hurry; walked downtown holding hands. She had a yard of blue material in her pocket: I remember that so well! She fell asleep and a smile began to blister her old mouth. I propped her against an old hotel and left without any noise. — James Tate (1943-2015) was the author of more than twenty collections of poetry, including the Pulitzer-Prize winning Selected Poems. His Dome of the Hidden Pavilion will be published in August 2015 by Ecco Press. — “Leaving Mother Waiting for Father” was published in the Summer 1968 issue of Poetry Northwest, and appeared in The Oblivion Ha-Ha. — photo credit: Peace Lily BW | (license)