She’s the image you are but far more by Chad Parmenter

Read “The Musing Gaze: a conversation with Chad Parmenter” here.

She’s the image you are but far more—more star-beautiful—and by that I mean mutable—Maria, Joan in “Passion of Joan of Arc,” scintillant with distance, giant, silent on the screen where I see her, leave her, am free from her. Her tears are not real. Yours were.

Remember you trembling and tender like white light on dark water—in the nest of shed clothes we used as a bed—shaking because of making love. I was making pictures in my mind—“I” is a picture-making of the mind—as far from you as film from the true Joan of Arc.

Look how her tears charge—carve away the dark of her face. Their torture of her makes her eyes shine gray with faith. Look how her power only grows in motion. Remember how you never moved—never moved me.

Chad Parmenter’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, and Harvard Review. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Niagara University.