Hooded     you smoke down a street in Petersburg
Neva     a mirror curving out of sight     is
tied in viper ringlets     knots of bridges
weightless     beneath emigrant, phantom blue

A second Venice     third Rome     another dimension
of imitation     in solitary, Ego
slips on that treacherous double ice-floe
loves you, loves you not, a-knotted     suspension...

Ellen, Eleanor, Lenore...     the mask
slips too easily down     to the tickling scarf
down to the salt-laden local     turf

there     to garner is the task, gathering in
skycolored photos of a frozen face
Epiphany...     or a mournful trace of silver.

Henry Gould | Island Road 3
Contents | Mudlark No. 6