Angel above the closet door, prone
in flight among stars, trumpet to lip,
long white gown and chestnut hair flowing,
ribbon of old rose trailing beneath
so as not to become entangled in wings.
Framed in half-opened eye, framed
in plastered transom, you sail motionless
(though suggestive of motion) above history,
the door’s creaky hinge, closet beneath
the stairs, space reducing back like years,
items stored in there changing over time, now
a vacuum sweeper, cans of paint,
old super 8 projector and reels,
our children still babies just being born,
just learning to walk. But in 1865, back
when this house was built? Broomcorn
broom, black metal dustpan? Curling scraps
of flowered wallpaper, tin of shellac
for woodwork and floors, a tintype or two?
Angel who guards the door, musician
of music I cannot hear, musician who appears
to be looking away, what do you think
of our comings and goings, our various notes
and dramas? Or perhaps it’s not for you to say.
Your clarion call to mystery, not terrifying
like visitations of biblical counterparts.
I don’t tremble or faint in your presence,
in fact, most often I forget you’re up there
as any dustcloth would show. Perhaps your
lyric goes something like this: Forgetting
is a layer of dust, a half-opened eye,
a plastered transom in which to suspend
motion at the door of dark space going back
years. Memory, a mote, an anthem,
old rose that may entangle if one fails
to drape it out of the way of wings.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.
See all items about Daye Phillippo