Virginia Konchan


That there should be ceremony.  

A way in to the photo album

before sepia became de rigueur.

That there should be upright collars,

a flower on the mantle as a timepiece. 

In this way the flower does not differ

from the camera itself, from the lucidity

of the operative lens with its shuttlecock

eye, closing when done after recording

the blurred colors of transient things. 

I dream of Ruth, stock-still amid the corn. 

I dream you, your staff laid waste

on fertile soil.  That there should be fruit. 

That it should be proffered and initially

refused.  That paradise should pile

up on your ship, oranges at the helm

of the bodhisattva’s sumptuous robe. 

But before union, leave-taking. 

The gondolier idles in queue. 

The last tremolo string of the principal

cellist should convey, sotto voce,

I was commissioned for you.



“Serenade” first appeared in Waccamaw.