Gregory Luce



Still you court the world by enacting yet once more

the ecstatic rituals of enthrallment.

             —Frank Bidart


Sorceress of the small

gesture:  the slight upsweep

of hair, the blush that looks

genuine at first glance,

perfect fingernails at rest

on the cover of the magazine

in her lap and I am

sitting up rapt and

rigid, breath indrawn

and held until

the train jolts to a stop

and I look away and

see a small boy's face

flattened against the window

of the train on the other

side of the platform. 

I try to catch his

eye but my train lurches

forward and I look back

across the aisle and she

is giving me her profile

now and I admire her

fine nose until in the next

station a jet fighter looms up

on an ad but what really

interests me is the cloud

behind the plane because

I love clouds and then

the train starts up again

and I look across the car

but she's gone and in

her seat is a man wearing

a very fine overcoat though

his face and hands are

filthy and his feet

are painful to look at

and I am wondering where

he got the coat when the train

pops out of the tunnel and

as we cross over the river

I look at the lights from

the highway bridge floating

on the water's surface 

which for some reason

reminds me of my lover's

face shining up at me

from the pillow

You can never rest.

Gregory Luce is the author of the chapbooks Signs of Small Grace (Pudding House Publications) and Drinking Weather (Finishing Line Press). His poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Kansas Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Innisfree Poetry Review, If, Northern Virginia Review, Foundling Review, MiPOesias, Praxilla, Little Patuxent Review, Buffalo Creek Review, and in the anthologies Living in Storms (Eastern Washington University Press) and Bigger Than They Appear (Accents Publishing). He lives in Washington, D.C., where he works as Production Specialist for the National Geographic Society.



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