Unmoved by the sun, in just
a blink, the sadly half-closed eye

skips a world-mirroring blimp
on the horizon, azure pooled

in navy, flagging—a girl’s
oblong bonnet ribboning

away. Riding the groove,
keeling out of the blue, as in ages

ago, the slow wheel of the Argo
fades. Neptune’s bathysphere slips

from his grasp. Fish with no eyes
now, cobalt, unreflecting. As the sea

turns, the sun sinks. Where did
the flame-blue phoenix-fleets

go? Squiggly saxophone is only
steely ship smoke, gas-lit music

over unsound underworld,
wet hell on Earth:

Sky-blue tulip. Coal-hued tulip bulb.

Stephen Massimilla is a poet, scholar, painter and photographer. His multi-genre Cooking with the Muse (Tupelo, 2016) won the Eric Hoffer Award and many others. He is the coeditor of a forthcoming anthology of poems on social justice. Previous books and awards include The Plague Doctor in His Hull-Shaped Hat (SFASU Press Prize); Forty Floors from Yesterday (Bordighera/CUNY Prize); Later on Aiaia (Grolier Poetry Prize); a Van Rensselaer Prize, selected by Kenneth Koch; a study of myth in poetry; and translations of books by Neruda and others. His books have been reviewed widely in publications ranging from the Huffpost to the Los Angeles Review; and his poems have appeared recently in AGNI, the American Literary Review, Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, The Literary Review, Poet Lore, Poetry Daily, The Southern Poetry Review, Tampa Review, Verse Daily, and hundreds of other journalsMassimilla holds an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. from Columbia University and teaches at Columbia University and The New School. (www.stephenmassimilla.com and www.cookingwiththemuse.com)

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