EXCERPTS


VANITAS

Darrell Bourque

after Muetra,
Lynda Frese
2009

Even in Arcadia they gathered to ponder passage.
So those blue and black butterfly wings shed
next to the skeletal remains contain a message
for the rest of us who have not yet been led

to the other side. And snakes in the garden
where we finally lie braided each to each
are not those mythical snakes hardening

into stones nearly impossible to reach
beyond, stories binding us like stem wardens
in stiff shirts. Here the molting snakes in beeches

and lindens where we lie underfoot are sage
reminders. We are always slinking, always wedded
to everything before and after us, even as every rage
inside us is without consent quelled and put to bed.

Poems used with permission of the authors, and may not be re-used without their permission.