Winter 2004

Seth Michelson


Seth Michelson This marks an author's first online publicationSeth Michelson lives in Queens, NY, with his wife and dog. He teaches writing in the Honors College at Adelphi University.
The Moment    Click to hear in real audio
                for Karl

A bog of AIDS
and pain, Karl shakes
in his bed, as he has all night.
His every bone, from skull
to sternum to tiniest tarsal,
rattles by itself,
a chain of islands in an earthquake,
a storm of hornets
trapped in a burning hive.
Who should live like this?
For relief, he looks to his windowsill,
to his bulb of morning glory
in its terra cotta pot,
its dark bed of soil.
Fragile beauty, he coos
to the white petals, curled
inwards in repose,
clasping each other against the night.
Favorite, favorite flower.
And dawn arrives
in smokey rivulets of light
that claim the sky
the way pain
now retakes his body.
Every muscle, every sinew, every cell
shakes and flames.
And, like a ballerina
awakening on stage, the white bulb
lifts towards the light,
fans wide its five petals,
and abandons itself to the sky.



Seth Michelson: Poetry
Copyright © 2004 The Cortland Review Issue 25The Cortland Review