WINTERWORK

 

Old windows are best: nicked, scratched, or scored;

new glass, like young faces, lacks the pocks and pits

 

for ice to take hold, and in cold night to filigree

a tapestry of interweaving lines

 

as fine as any spider could weave, a crystal

arabesque, a fretwork of white that obscures

 

and ornaments, so trees, rooflines, and passersby

seem seen in overlay, a pentimento

 

that heightens, as when listening to another:

time stops and blood surges, the words beneath

 

the uttered are heard, the tracery of others’

fault lines in invisible view: splintered glass and cracks

 

softly exploding, as does ice when sun’s

first heat touches frost, patterned across sand and

 

ash heated into clear, before perception

fogs, the double vision done, heart and eyes

 

returned to surface sight, the melt running down

the glass in drips and drizzles, dissolved in the light.

 

Robert Rothman has had work appear in Atlanta Review, The Alembic, Existere, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Westview, Willow Review, and over fifty other literary journals.

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