A Roman Garden

Last night I dreamed again I was his son
     (searching always for fathers, orphan of sleep),
then woke to hear hooded crows in the rain
     whose raucous cries reverberated deep
within the garden and its citrus grove
     laden with chill and pebble-rinded fruit.
He who is not my father does not move,
     but waits; far from here, he could speak, but does not.
Some lamps to light the dark of where he is:
     my hand reached out. But then the eyeless bald
ivory skull and gleaming nightmare feathers
     mocked me. I could bring nothing to the world.
The crows flew off beyond my furthest thought,
as citrus cast its heavy perfumed light.

Presented by

Karl Kirchwey’s most recent collection is Mount Lebanon (2011). He is currently the arts director for the American Academy in Rome.

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's outrageous what's on TV. It looks like that man is in charge of the country."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's going to go from bad to worse."

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In