after T.S. Eliot
Angie O’Neal


instead of ground

feel the stirring,

the turning away.


see a fox in the park dart into

a forest of ashes.


these days the things deepest

down are always disappearing

like spindrift—


acts of devotion,


as the angler waits on the shore,

apprentice to the slow dance of


its long withholding—

its sudden flourish.


follow and take the way of the river

through the city,

indeterminate on

tributaries of absence.


go missing and apostrophize

on ancient waters, cast a line

like a pair of gills, filaments

sifting the current for air.


watch the kayak upturned,

floating ahead like a promise,

breath shallow as a

bluegill out of water


wingbeats quickening in

a flight of tree swallows

approaching a silver sky.


let it slip away like time

between your fingers,

an epiphany breaking open on

the waves—oars like empty arms

reaching out to touch the sea.