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Land's End


The bridal parties file across the lawn
in too high heels and too brief
dresses, the boys in rented tuxes
carrying boutonnières in boxes
like pastries
or eggs.

Vita brevis, days are long.
We flop down on the lawn,
smell the grass that smell fresh cut
and watch the brides’
stiletto heels sink into porous turf.
The spires of the Golden Gate
poke through the frieze of cypress
trees;
the ocean makes a muted din.

Now musicians tote
the strange shapes of their instruments
up the colonnade
to the museum, a replica
of a replica, whose original—
if one may speak of origins—
is in Paris. The bridal parties
are replicas of something too.
It’s all as old as war
and trade say the figures
on the bas relief. Palms
in pots are carried from a truck.

The sun is tilting west
but sailboats still venture out to sea,
and at intervals a foghorn lows,
although today
there is no fog.


Beverley Bie Brahic

PN Review

May / June 2017


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