Galway Aria

Sharon Olds

Fall 2018

At the end of the day, at the end of the evening,
in full night, I finally turn out
the light and go to one of your dormer
windows—the eaves pulled down, over
my shoulders, as if I am out over
the hollyhocks and the barrel of nasturtiums, the
flowers with their divinity in their
throats to be sucked out, the deep
panes set into the roof, the house set
halfway up the hill on top of the
mountain over the valley. We are most of the
way up to the zenith, the clouds
stretching out, level with us,
rumpled, bunched, ruched, as if we are
upside down, as if the sky
is the element we are floating on, like
liquid, as if we’re at the bottom of the earth,
resting on the ocean of the air and its wrack of
glisteny seaweed and kelp. The summer
screen mesh
makes the sexagonal
hivation of the atmosphere visible,
the honeycombage of the lower heavens,
the trees are black, the grass is grey, like a
painting of an alpen mountainside
in moonlight.

Sharon Olds has published thirteen volumes of poetry, which have won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, among other honors. She teaches at NYU.

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