Moth at the Window

I read he had been killed
bomb in the desert . didn’t believe
the Prince of Shadows
will not . cannot . can never
started looking
in newspaper folds . condoms . empty
holster milk carton laundry drums
cold metal keyholes
behind gilt-frame mirrors
coded late night
stubble . lavatory snapchat
tanks half full . he has no smell . takes
shape of those seeking
jet streams across oceans
a son’s anger . insult
at work against coworker
twined like a dragon round a spire
rumored aspirations . squadrons
in the blush . in bed
turned backs
an angel breathing . a man
who’s jumped . selling soap
to a girl with no hands
black beard . hand on the blade
shadow darkening shade
black field calculating . hot wind throat
divines Prince of Shadows in a sutured
suit of aces fitting
loose sand priority through open spaces
frequencies of doubt . airwave . toxic burn
unlearning more than you can learn
a horn scraped out
makes a horn
Prince of Shadows
the deeds are with thee
born here in a manger
raised under national
overpass canal and demonstration
the world belongs to you
as it negates you . no essential
mysteries . what is actual
but actuaries measuring the mutual
where is God’s child sitting at his table
and time rhymes
eternity in another
language . there’s no why about it
when you are yourself the writing
no home no homage
outside of echo a rose unfolds the common
the Prince of Shadows vacates
a refugee of meaning
grief kidnaps fear
and kills it in the morning


Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry, including The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (2013).  He is also the editor of At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn (all from Chicago).   His most recent book, Berlin Notebook, prose about the refugee crisis, was published by the Los Angeles Review of Books (2016), and funded by a Guggenheim fellowship.  His poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The American Scholar, Harvard Review, The New Republic, Brick, and elsewhere.  He is professor of English at the University of Maryland, and lives with his family in Washington D.C.


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