With De Kooning’s Montauk Highway, 1958
Fire!—everything fighting for air to combust.
Hints of slaughter in the whitish sky
approximating years, oracles, ghosts.
Just a mind: ear of the past still listening
for a man with a grand mustache,
footsteps melting in puddled sand,
his glutted body tanking into black with
raging white froth. Just a thought:
body washed up on beige-gray sand
like an arrowhead, tomahawk,
exposed again to the living’s scrutiny.
Nothing but loafing in the Hamptons
until the axe falls, eh?
There is no highway,
though they elect to call it that,
a faster road banned year after year;
you go single file, broken like a horse
into pastoral patience, raise your glass
to ballooning sea-heaves when you reach
this debris-of-hurricanes place.
A patch chipped away—flames from
underneath?—jewels dug out?
Someone on a beach in white cotton.
Not Gandhi. Not now.
straight on through
to where the lighthouse
beam turns 360 degrees.
Jari Chevalier's poems are forthcoming in Puerto del Sol and Green Mountains Review and have recently appeared in Arcturus, Beloit Poetry Journal, Boulevard, The Cincinnati Review, Concīs, The Cortland Review, Gulf Coast Online, The Massachusetts Review, and Poetry East, among others. In Fall 2016 her poem won the inaugural poetry contest at Sheila-Na-Gig Online and she was a semi-finalist for the 2016 Tomaž Šalamun Prize from Verse magazine. In 2014 she received a Merit Award in the Atlanta Review International Poetry competition and was a finalist in the Ploughshares Emerging Writer's Contest. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing and literature from Columbia University and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from CCNY. For more information, please visit http://jarichevalier.com
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