After Beauty

By Jerome Gagnon

By which I mean the rose and the image of the rose,
the wood lark’s song and Coltrane’s deconstruction of it,
not to mention Buster P. as he rounds second, liquid,
by which I mean that which stays then vanishes—
you don’t ask where it’s gone,
you will have forgotten all about the varieties of purple,
spilling over an unmended fence,
obsessed with this other thing, how it fashions meaning
from shape and shadow,
while conceding a glass vase all rights to remain
empty on a painted table.

Jerome Gagnon lives in Northern California, where he’s worked as a teacher, tutor, and freelance journalist. A graduate of San Francisco State University’s Creative Writing Program, his poetry has appeared in a variety of journals including Poet Lore, Spiritus, Crab Creek Review, and Modern Haiku. He received the Louis Book Award from Concrete Wolf Press for his full-length volume, Rumors of Wisdom, and the Robert Frost Poetry Prize from the Frost Foundation. He’s also the author of a chapbook, Spell of the Ordinary, from Finishing Line Press.