Love in the DC Sculpture Gardens

Maximilian Heinegg


Our written guide says it’s emptiness
that Arman was after in his Eros, passion
fled into the air, wanting spirit’s stripped
down to the skull & shoulders.  His to shape
& ours to take in & tease out what the bronze
ribbons say, if, reassembled, love is
less or more than this openness
of metal, the weather walking through.

My Slovenian stands before the stacked
red Latin sculpture of letters where AM rests
on OR, certainty perching on debate, 
which makes the O tilt. This singular
love draws children in to take selfies
by the root, one iron flower proffered
in the garden’s fist of these sculptures
I fail to grasp for the folkways say 

we study passions, lest fingers corrode
& last, the silvery tree, Graft splits
into two ways of feeling for the sun, 
first frantic fingers, the second, sure
extension, calm as Adam’s marble
eyes, this leaning for the paternal
sun, tendril for the startling
pulse, the good sap the god loans.


Maximilian Heinegg’s poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, December Magazine, and Crab Creek Review, among others. Additionally, he is a singer-songwriter and recording artist, and the co-founder and brewmaster of Medford Brewing Company. He lives and teaches English in the public schools of Medford, MA. 

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