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Thanks to a residency at EcoHealth, my verse these days finds inspiration in the specter of future pandemics; for my dissertation at LMU München, where I tutor composition and edit a poetry weekly, I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets—I also teach at MVHS and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.


Most Like an Arch This Marriage

by John Ciardi 

Most like an arch—an entrance which upholds  
and shores the stone-crush up the air like lace.  
Mass made idea, and idea held in place.  
A lock in time. Inside half-heaven unfolds. 

Most like an arch—two weaknesses that lean  
into a strength. Two fallings become firm.  
Two joined abeyances become a term  
naming the fact that teaches fact to mean. 

Not quite that? Not much less. World as it is,  
what’s strong and separate falters. All I do  
at piling stone on stone apart from you  
is roofless around nothing. Till we kiss 

I am no more than upright and unset.  
It is by falling in and in we make 
the all-bearing point, for one another’s sake,  
in faultless failing, raised by our own weight. 

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