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Steve Scafidi

 

Hades, West Virginia

 

Sudden in the river is a fish and a bird.
The scales of the one and the wings
of the other combine in a furious third
sort of violent thing and the flight
of the swim and the plunge in the air

and the mouth of the fish and the eye
of the look and the terror of the stare
of the rising bird are exactly how
it feels in the brief and tumbling day
when the sparkling wish of my desire

for her and the actual fact of loss
crash and combine and I stop
what I’m doing as the day washes over
the small blue stones in the rush
of the river. And it all starts over—

the rise and the plummet and the hover.
Sudden in the river is a fish and a bird.
The wings of the one and the scales
of the other combine in a violent
third sort of furious thing and the flight

of the plunge and the swim in the air
and the beak of the bird and the eye
of the fish are parts of desire like
the parts of speech for to love her
is to rise and to plummet and to hover.

 


Steve Scafidi is the author of four poetry collections: Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer, For Love of Common Words, The Cabinetmaker's Window, and To the Bramble and the Briar. He works as a cabinetmaker and lives in Summit Point West Virginia.