Michael Salcman

s Lake

In a small mirror nailed at the end of a darkened hall,

its bright silver blackened by the air that gave it life, 

I see reflected the smallest part of what I am—
the picture yes but not the noise, as if the eye were all.

In Como, where Dante’s lake laps the sage

and the night air smells of iodine,
I recall remembering the price of forgetting, the wage
I’d gladly pay in dropping you this line.

It’s late; the moony waters drown memory in a gilded frame
where your voice recedes.
I smell the heat of torches set to burning weeds,

time stopping in the hallways of my brain.

The circle closes. If only you had come to kiss away the tears,

wipe my face and dry them years ago.

Michael Salcman, poet, physician and art historian, was chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland and president of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore. “Dante’s Lake” first appeared in The Peacock Review. Poems appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, Arts & Letters, Hopkins Review, The Hudson Review, New Letters, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, and Ontario Review. Salcman is the author of four chapbooks. Books include The Clock Made of Confetti (Orchises, 2007), nominated for The Poets' Prize, The Enemy of Good is Better (Orchises, 2011), Poetry in Medicine, his popular anthology of classic and contemporary poems on doctors, patients, illness & healing (Persea Books, 2015) and A Prague Spring, Before & After (2016), winner of the 2015 Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press.



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

Email this poem Printer friendly page


Bruce J. Berger

Joe Bishop

Dan Campion

John Delaney

Katherine Fallon

David Lee Garrison

Ted Jean

Laurie Lamon

Michael Lauchlan

Sean Lause

Peter Leight

Laura Manuelidis

Susan McLean

Nicholas Molbert

Jesse Morales

James P. Nicola

Jean Nordhaus

Patric Pepper

Simon Perchik

John Perrault

Roger Pfingston

Mark Rubin

Michael Salcman

Andrew Szilvasy

Faith Williams

Terence Winch

Anne Harding Woodworth














Last Updated: Mar 10, 2021 - 2:35:35 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2021 Cook Communication.