J A N U A R Y 1 9 9 4
THE CLOSED FORESTby Jessica Hornik
Hear Jessica Hornik this poem (in RealAudio).
(For help, see a note about the audio.)
Also by Jessica Hornik:
The Invisible Woman (1998)
An Audible Anthology
Into the closed forest he went, with no
shirt, no watch, no wallet. Something
arranged it so that we weren't allowed
to watch him make the necessary gesture,
or ever know exactly how the space
that has no opening and no close was opened
and closed. And nothing was traded
for him -- now there is only none
of him and more of the same. When we gathered,
one star for each of us briefly
wrung itself in the heavens, and then
was through. Through to something he went,
given roots for next of kin and earth
for earth, and no things except the spaces
between them. The shovel was handed round.
The rain brought altitudes down to him.
The globe seemed to shrink, what with our
demand for it to hold this gift.
Hold this gift, O heaven and earth.
Curse this page that knows his grave.
Nothing was traded for him in the closed forest.
Jessica Hornik is a poet whose work has appeared in Poetry,The Yale Review,and The New Republic.
Copyright © 1994 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; January 1994; The Closed Forest; Volume 273, No. 1; page 82.