Robert Rothman: “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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