“Then Abraham” by Jean Valentine:
Then an old man came down out of the thicket,
with an axe on his shoulder, and with him
two people made out of light
–one a blameless son,
the other like a Vermeer girl,
on their way back down with the old man.
Still, all the history of the world
happens at once: In the rain, a young man
holds out a blue cloth
to caress her head
at the landing pier
of the new bride.
You can’t get beauty. (Still,
in its longing it flies to you.)
(From Break the Glass © 2010 by Jean Valentine. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press. Photo by Sigurdur Bjarnason)