IMAGINING STARRY

The place of language is the place between me
and the world of presences I have lost
—complex country, not flat. Its elements free-
float, coherent for luck to come across;
its lines curve as in a mental orrery
implicit with stars in active orbit,
only their slowness or swiftness lost to sense.

The will dissolves here. It becomes the infinite
air of imagination that stirs immense
among losses and leaves me less desolate.

Breathing it I spot a sentence or a name,
a rescuer, charted for recovery,
to speak against the daily sinking flame
& the shrinking waters of the mortal sea.

  — Marie Ponsot (b. 1921), Chancellor of the American Academy of Poets