"Figures in a Landscape"
On good days we found comedy in that,
pratfalls and also great sadness.
Sun moved across the sky and lowered
until you, then I, were in shadow, bereft.
The Renaissance had ended—
we'd long known we were mortal.
In shadow, I held the wild daisies and cosmos
we'd been gathering for the table.
Then the sky behind us pinked and enflamed
the landscape where we were left
to our own reinvention, two silhouettes
who still had places they meant to travel,
who were not abstractions—had you pricked them
they'd have bled, alizarin crimson.
I wanted to walk by myself awhile
but I'd always been afraid to lose you
and the naked olive groves were hovering
as if to surround you.
That was the problem:
I craved loneliness; I needed the warmth of love.
Gail Mazur's fifth book, Zeppo's First Wife: New & Selected Poems, won the 2006 Massachusetts Book Award in poetry. Her most recent collection of poems, Figures in a Landscape, was published n 2011. She is distinguished writer in residence in the graduate program of Emerson College.
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