The Sirens Have Stopped Singing

Ange Mlinko

Winter 2019

Black ink on blackened papyrus,
pinched from a catacomb,
revolved around an unknown axis
like a brain with locked-in syndrome
maybe cradling lost Sappho.


Resembling a bit of stocking or trim
for a goth-girl’s getup, it stretched
delicately on a rack, in a room so dim
you might forget that you had fetched
up where rays beamed back


at several times the magnification,
ripening lemons like amulets,
the way days ripen with vacation
where the midsummer sun never sets
on the tan line of a continent;

Ange Mlinko teaches at the University of Florida. Her most recent poetry collection is Distant Mandate.

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