for Sylvain

At first, touch of round body, round breasts, lazy the longand indolent caressof breeze and sunlight \ mingling

To wed is the weighted, the rootedand fulcrum ==Hours measured in summer’s cicada’s thrumming

The heart’s vast and cratered purpose == a decade’s husbandry:spread out like wild thyme, heal-all,forget-me-not

Once, after a fall, I remembered nothingbut spoke lucidly among fluorescence to you == floatingangelic above me

Later, by Crater Lake we watched a gray heron fish, lift-off with the catch, then turn to note a day-flying mothaflutter:

Don’t move, you said, and I == silent, thought-less as if emptied-out (metamorphosing),doffed my hat

Smog-dustlusters intowing-gift with you

Love’s accident’sglittering wand waves ==hosts ==

the delicate-eyed,dowering                        One

© Cynthia Hogue, 2014. Originally published in TAB: a journal of poetry and poetics (2014).

Used with permission.

Cynthia Hogue was born in 1951 in Rock Island, Illinois. She taught in the MFA program at the University of New Orleans before moving to Pennsylvania, where she directed the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University for eight years. While in Pennsylvania, she trained in conflict resolution with the Mennonites and became a trained mediator specializing in diversity issues in education. She has published eight collections of poetry, three of which— Revenance (2014), Or Consequence(2010), and The Incognito Body (2006)—were published by Red Hen Press. Other books include When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina (University of New Orleans P, 2010); Flux (New Issues Press, 2002); The Never Wife (Mammoth Press, 1999); The Woman in Red (Ahsahta P, 1989); and Where the Parallels Cross (Whiteknights Press, 1983). Her ninth collection, In June the Labyrinth, will be published by Red Hen Press in 2017. Since 2006, Hogue has been an active translator from contemporary French poetry whose co-translated Fortino Sámano (The overflowing of the poem), by poet Virginie Lalucq and philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, won the 2013 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poetry. Hogue was a 2015 NEA Fellow in Translation. She is the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry in the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University.

BMP Celebrates National Poetry Month

If “love calls us to the things of this world,” then poetry too can call us to think about challenging questions, difficult situations, and social justice, implicating and engaging the reader with the world we live in, in the hope that this engagement is a step toward wrestling with our better selves.