Williamson Brasfield, from Barrier Islands

In this halting town
someone somehow leveled
I think mountain-top.
But today scaffolding
climbs stiff into every
frame, the views across
& we turn away—back
to the dirty train car,
its smack of rusting
doors, its briefcase-men
mumbling behind their pastries
& their papers…
I can hear each If only.
It’s unavoidable:
alone on that plateau
coming from god knows
where to that terrace,
to where the air prays
to be broken into
& rummaged. Or rearranged,
the thing that will drop us
to our knees against stone.
Oh holy, holy
holy our bruises would mouth.


Beth Marzoni