Going South-George Amabile

for A and the others


We’ve come down
here where the air is warm
as blood – ten days
in faux time, designed
to heal a year of distress.


But when toothpick and paper
umbrellas in billowy glasses fail
to console, we resort
to the sea, where we,
and everyone else, began.


Underwater, the stems are snake
supple and the light is nuanced, gradual
as it goes down, and down, toward green
nights we’ll never sleep through
or suffer with second hand music
because of what happened to our deep
thoughts as our hopes drowned,
but this is where we may recover
that moment, that lovely plunge of the heart,
when we saw everything as a no thing
and its emptiness grew radiant with loss




George Amabile has published ten books and has had work in over a hundred national and international venues, including The New Yorker, Poetry (Chicago), American Poetry Review, Botteghe Oscure, The Globe and Mail, The Penguin Book of Canadian Verse, Saturday Night,, Poetry Australia, Sur (Buenos Aires), Poetry Canada Review, and Canadian Literature. His most recent publications are a long poem, Dancing, with Mirrors (Porcupine’s Quill, 2011), Small Change (Fiction, Libros Libertad, 2011) and Martial Music (poetry, Signature Editions, 2016) all of which have won the prestigious Bressani Award.
“Trust the River”
Read another poem by George Amabile: Poem- Getting Somewhere, An archaeology of water
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