Skating at Night
Brian Swann

Skating at Night

Like a lone lantern that can’t quite
keep itself lit, she moves from stumble
to stutter, from furrow to scribbled notes,
until she manages a sort of circle
punctuated by wedges of toe-stops and
falls, but now she’s onto something, she’s
getting somewhere and a glide, a spurt, she takes,
flares, flickering shadows reach up, and so on,
until nights later, a different person now,
arms out, she starts to spin, arms in she
enters herself, like birds in tree, seraphim
humming, chandelier ringing, and moves off
into night she now thinks she knows with her
entire body, the way a blind person touches
blackness as pricks of sharp bubbles, and
she is spirit beyond the surface on which
feelings play, leaving them etched in ice.

Brian Swann

is the author of the poetry collections Sunday Out of Nowhere: New and Selected Poems (forthcoming from Sheep Meadow Press), In Late Light (Johns Hopkins University Press), Sky Loom: Native American Myth, Story, Song (University of Nebraska Press), St. Francis and the Flies (winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize), and Companion, Analogies (Sheep Meadow Press), as well as the story collections Dogs on the Roof (MadHat Press), Not the Real Marilyn Monroe (MadHat Press), and Another Log on the Fire: New and Selected Fiction (forthcoming from MadHat Press).