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© COPYRIGHT 2019.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Eric Pankey

Descent into Limbo

Gray is permeable, 

 

Absorbs shadow and shade

With equal ease:

 

                          the gray 

Of anvil dust, the shivery gray 

Of graphite, gray

The density of clay,

 

Rain and greasy soot

To make a gray ink,

 

Infinite gradations,

A leaden spectrum,

Untinged by, purged of, 

Color:

 

           The gray quarry pond

 

Out of which

A bloated body is lifted.

Wrecked

Inasmuch as sleep descends, tomorrow’s 

 

Iteration of fog will lift from the surface.

 

If one dreams one dreams of water—

 

Of a river that winds in wide arcs across a dark floodplain;

 

Of rare Venetian honey from flowers periodically submerged in lagoon tides.

 

Adrift, without the knowledge of the depth beneath, 

 

One perceives the stayed tension of a storm far off in the distance;

 

But no clear border, endpoint, or landfall.

 

A bit of blue borrowed from Piero della Francesca flashes,

 

But little else reaches the surface.

 

The dinghy is the width of a stretcher, the width of a grave—each a bed of sorts.

 

Eric Pankey has three books forthcoming in 2019: Owl of Minerva, a collection of poems; Alias, a collection of prose poems and Vestiges, a collection of essays. He teaches in the BFA and MFA programs at George Mason University.