So now this is autumn

Nancy Flynn


of all stars the most
                          beautiful —

open out the grace of your eyes,
                         black sleep of night.

The hour goes by.

Become a voice.
Do not move stones.

Someone will remember us,
                                         I say.
                                         Even in another time,

I might go

so we may see
barefoot —

to loose all the wrong [we] did before
                by luck of the harbor,
to pray for a share
out of the unexpected.

To be,
        to arrive
        to tell tales.

and toward
says this
of black earth—

flesh by now old age.

We live
the opposite,
in a thin voice.

For day is near,
stirs up still things.

For mortals: there is a share
as long as you want
               to touch the sky with two arms.

You will go your way among the dim shapes. Having been breathed out.



This “found poem” is made up of lines taken from If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, translated by Anne Carson. Spacing and some punctuation are based on Carson’s text; I added additional capitalization and punctuation as needed for clarity. 

Nancy Flynn grew up on the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania, spent many years on a downtown creek in Ithaca, New York, and now lives near the mighty Columbia in Portland, Oregon. Her full-length poetry collection, Every Door Recklessly Ajar (Cayuga Lake Books) appeared in 2015; her long poem, Great Hunger, was published by Anchor & Plume Press in 2016. Her website is

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