“Thoughts of the Past (detail),” oil on canvas, by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, 1859.

by Rustin Larson

Prism vase, asters blue as glacier ice,
baskets of strawberries, croissants,
goblets lit with orange juice,
& the cathedral distant, the boat house
flying its flag in an international zone,
one hand of the clock tracing the sun’s
theoretical position in a season
almost simultaneous with our own.

On the bureau you forgot your brush.
We made an adventure that morning, rushed
down to buy a new one in the stone
partition of the old city.

Some day, for whatever reason
we will leave this reality.
I know I will regret it, miss the familiarity:
your face, your dress, & how
there was never enough day
to know you in each unknowable way.

Leave them there—molecules, salts.
A faint mist rides the glint of waves.
Enter the next room less than sleep or more,
lighter than a spider’s web, or
join the street’s bustle. How they make
preparations; on pushcarts
bottles glisten the reflected blue of a lake.

omega man

Rustin Larson’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, The North American Review, Poetry East, and The American Entomologist Poet’s Guide to the Orders of Insects. He is the author of The Wine-Dark House (Blue Light Press, 2009), Crazy Star (selected for the Loess Hills Book’s Poetry Series in 2005), Bum Cantos, Winter Jazz, & The Collected Discography of Morning, winner of the 2013 Blue Light Book Award (Blue Light Press, San Francisco), and the forthcoming The Philosopher Savant (Glass Lyre Press, 2015).