Elizabeth Arnold


Heart Valve

They told me there’ d be pain

so when I felt it,
sitting at my beat-up farm desk

that looks out glass doors

onto the browning garden — plain sparrows
bathing in the cube-shaped fountain

so violently they drain it,

the white-throats with their
wobbly two-note song

on the long way south still,

and our dogs
out like lights and almost

falling off their chairs

freed of the real-time for awhile
as time began for me

to swell, slow down, carry me out

of all this almost
to a where

What Is a Person

capable of feeling
while in contact with another?

I look at the red-tiled roofs outside,
at all the angles

facing the white-blue cloudless sky
like the creases in Bellini’ s angel’ s

silver-blue dress, Tintoretto’ s white one
that’ s practically transparent in his

Annunciazione at the San Rocco
— cloth complex as thought!

Then the bells start, flood the void.