ISSUE 48
August 2010

Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.

 

Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. is a poet, scholar, translator, and corporate consultant. The Green Sea of Heaven, translations of Iranís major mystical lyric poet Hafiz-i Shirazi (d. 1389), was published by White Cloud Press in 1995. Recent work will appear in The Kenyon Review Online, Poetry International , and Provincetown Arts. She has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College.

The Corner    

A man is walking toward a corner
A man walking toward a corner
A man walking to the corner where there may be a woman
Maybe there will be a woman

A woman is walking toward a corner
A woman is walking to the corner
The wind pulls at her coat
At her supple coat
At the edges of her supple coat
The wind has been trying to open her supple coat

Are they walking on the same street toward the same corner
Are they walking on different streets toward the same corner

All evening the man has been walking to this corner
All evening the woman has been walking toward this corner
All evening while leaning away from this corner she has been walking toward it
She knows that she has been leaning away from this corner and walking toward
     it
Leaning away but toward, while walking toward it
She and her supple coat have been leaning away

But leaning away is not walking away or running away
Leaning is neither walking nor running
Leaning will not do it is insufficient
It is too little and will not avail
At the corner little will avail
Nothing at the corner will
Nothing at the windy corner will

But will he fail will he also fail
It will be a matter of will at the corner
Who will fail will be a matter of willing

Perhaps it is not about failing but flying
Toward a confluence of ways
Above the billowing edges of a supple coat
Her coat his coat
Edges of supple coats billow at a confluence without resistance
Will they be a couple a confluence

While there may be leaning there is no leaning away
Each may be leaning but not away

The saying is hard to mean
The meaning is hard to say
The woman and the man and the corner are hard to say
The corner will be a confluence of wills and leanings
A rendezvous of forces

One can hardly speak about a woman and a corner and a man
Each corner is a rendezvous of forces


 

 

Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.: Poetry
Copyright ©2010 The Cortland Review Issue 48The Cortland Review