James Merrill Cento

Richard Fox


As the double feature began, so did you to un-
Begin. Carnation underfoot, tea splashing stars—
Chamber of blossom, not a petal spilled—
Delicious, white, refined:
Everything changes; nothing does. I am back,
Fallen from the clouds, well met.
 
Given us through a misunderstanding,
Here’s your letter. The old, portable
I will not dial that number. Never fear,
Keats. On board ship for what we shall call Rome,
Little has changed. Of the buildings, tufted clay
Might and must now cast upon the hearth—
Nude but for sun.
On such a day even the sun stops. Even
Paul phones to say goodbye.
 
Quiz kid—
Rind and resurrection, hell and seed—
Shrinking to enter, did. Your heart—
The bud—a foreskin; more so as it wilts,
Unjeweled—in black (as ever-comedienne)
Veiling, barely, his dread.
Well, I admit
X had the funds, the friends, the plan—
You are one wild boy.

Merrill, James. Collected Poems.


Richard Fox has contributed work to many literary journals. Swagger & Remorse, his first book of poetry, was published in December, 2007. He received a full fellowship for poetry from the Illinois Arts Council. He holds a BFA in Photography from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and lives in Chicago.

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