Skip to content →

Summer Song

Fifty floors above the street,

you in a summer dress. Star-shaped holes in a steel chandelier

giving shape to the stars’ elsewhereness—

Or a tall flag snaps

against a sour-looking sky, and troopers sailing in by parachute

are clothespins

pinning up the sky. Or someone sets a fire

by kissing an inlaid floor of stone.

In the subway, we see an old woman

a million miles from home. The galaxies known by number

outnumbering those with names…

I marry you in the morning

and I marry you each day.

I feel the strain inside the song,

the Atlantic in the shell.

I feel a tall wind rising up to take

and bear me far away.

from Charms Against LightningFind it in the library

Copyright © 2012 James Arthur
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in James Arthur Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.