Tag Archives: Miriam Levine poem

Miriam Levine

Miriam’s Levine’s most recent book is The Dark Opens, winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize.  Other books include Devotion, a memoir, which will be reissued in paperback this year; In Paterson, a novel; and three other collections of poetry.  Levine lives near Boston and winters in South Beach.




Memorial at the Pond

Condensation gathered
under the glass that covers the girl’s
photo blurs the background and turns
her throat to mist but not her face

in profile with mouth open
and tongue curled upward
to taste that rain: she is gleaming,
with ecstasy—it seems.  Sixteen!
No one knew her.  She meant to die.
She wrapped weights around her
wrists—ankles too—and waded
into the deepest water.  Friends

write to her now in a damp book.
Dear, they begin, believing
she hears, believing she sees
the lilacs heaped for her.


Slow Goodbye

In Ozu’s films the camera
keeps running when actors
leave so we see light ruffle
the sea and long sea grass bend.

You can almost hear the flap
of a distant flag and smell
the sea’s salty breath.
Clouds expectant with rain,

each hopeful bud in the pure
reverie of the camera’s gaze.
Everything as it should be.
We’re Ozu’s people now,

looking back with him
in tenderness as the lens
lingers and the loveliest
things go on without us.