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As the resident poet at EcoHealth, my verse finds inspiration these days in the spectre of global pandemics. At LMU Munich's Amerika-Institut, where I tutor composition and poetics, I'm anatomizing the sonnets of E. A. Robinson for my dissertation. I also teach at Münchner Volkshochschule and Amerikahaus.


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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