Study: Dark Madonna: by Joy Manesiotis

Today the sky held up by invisible hands. Today is raining down.

And how to contain the hours and minutes, give form and purpose to the daylight?

The roses, citrus, salvia thirsty today, bowed down by enormous heat, a hand
at their throats.

A prayer for silence, and what rises up into silence.

It is the wind, carrying the furnace breath, the light a series of knives, the wind whistling
along the blades, an eerie music the eucalyptus tree recognizes, its white bark smooth and
sheared. The palm’s giant arms, razored, heavy, blown down to the street. It is the only
event, that falling, what should be loud, crackling, instead silent, no witness, a slow-motion
spiral toward earth.

The heat pressing down: the night’s desire to disperse its stars: I am fused
inside this silence.

Help me remember the long well of patience. Its dark water. The purity of that fall.


Joy Manesiotis is the author of They Sing to Her Bones, which won the New Issues Poetry Prize. In May, 2012, her poems were dropped over Nicosia, Cyprus as part of Spring Poetry Rain, an international cultural event to foster peace in the last divided city in Europe.