Karl Kirchwey



August long ago, the summer Lemnian
(not like the deeds of those who killed their men),
the self a glowing bead, like Hephaestus falling
daylong out of heaven in the old story,
the island's interior a forge, a glory hole,
the odor of wild thyme borne offshore steadily,
the Aegean Sea purple, wine-dark, without epithet;
and as I walked on the beach, my mother not long dead,
the perfect crystal of my self-regard
so lately flawed, and landscape made to echo
my own low cry in the island's empty places,