Memory sticks to syllables, as if in poems
float human faces: here Emanuel, here Elyse—
in shield and cone, and cypress. Marion in snowy
air, Phineas in fortress. Hear them in association
speak. Loquaciously in company and scrying
into I. Memory sticks to syllables—like scent
to soul, art to illness, alchemy to metal,
blood and roses. Image the alembic.

Snowy air, meet shield and cone, be fortress now
for one another; cypress. Here I am in cell
and pinnate—sticky to the touch, attar to taste.
Invisible, except to keen observers. The colors
of the spectrum blend in indigo, through blue.
They could have stopped at soul alone, yet moved to
cross the benedictory threshold: don’t you know—
the smallest act contains a whole world view.

Elana Wolff—writer, editor, and therapeutic art facilitator—is the author of three collections of poetry with Guernica Editions: Birdheart (2001), Mask (2003), and You Speak to Me in Trees (2006)—winner of the 2008 F.G. Bressani Prize for Poetry. A fourth collection, Startled Night, is forthcoming in Fall 2011.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

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