Excerpt

Steven Heighton
from “Jetlag”

. . .

might urge to mind moments that lodge you
deep in a life:
                            when you first heard last century’s best tenor,
Jussi Bjöerling, skewer the skynote in “O Helga Natt,” and swore
no more lies and of course still lied but less and less as years
went and years went and that high C went on
compounding in your soul, or
for the first time kissed her breasts in the fire-alley
of a mountain town, under the startled brainwaves
of the aurora borealis
or hiked the low cliffs of Naxos with the child
on your back, her weight bracing your step to soil
so at last you felt present—sheathed in sheer being—
she chanting the genesis of all she spied,
lending back through the ear’s narrowed estuary
that urgent inventory—



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