Joseph Stanton


His Eve has tempted him
to take a bite of the fruit
of no knowledge of her,
and now Joel is trapped
in the slow digestion
of the poisoned apple
that is his life.

A witchcraft
aims to leave him,
as in a dream upon waking,
entirely healed
of his hope’s imperfections.                                                                                                

But he tries and tries
to hold still in mind,
his imperfectly divine someone,
though she’s disappearing all the time,
even as he withstands, as best he can,
this dark night’s inexorable machine of erasure.  

And we are caught –
as we watch Joel striving,
in the face of the scrims and dissolves
of outrageous excision,
to hold onto his,
oh, so darling Clementine,
and we are there with him,
clinging to whatever Montauks
still remain to us.

JOSEPH STANTON’S BOOKS OF POEMS ARE Imaginary Museum: Poems on Art, A Field Guide to the Wildlife of Suburban O'ahu, Cardinal Points, and What the Kite Thinks. His poems have appeared in poetrybay, Poetry, Poetry East, The Cortland Review, Harvard Review, New York Quarterly, and many other journals. His other sorts of books include. Looking for Edward Gorey, The Important Books, Stan Musial: A Biography, and A Hawai'i Anthology. He is a Professor of Art History and American Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.



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