My early education, at the hands of Dominicans, informed me of all things possible and impossible right out of a few pages of Plato's Phaedo, set down over four-hundred years before their savior walked the earth. As far as I may wander, I am pulled back to those few tenets: the transitory nature of human existence, the necessity of denial, the tensions of extremes, the hope of the sublime. I live in Tucson with my wife Jane Catherine, a watercolorist, and with our dog, Irish. My more recent work has appeared in The North American Review, The French Literary Review, and others.
The planter above Stein’s headstone holds small smooth
stones. We looked about until we found two agates on the
ground, one black, the other amber, and set them in place
with our left hand like ancient Jews, to mark the place,
to say someone came here and someone thought of those below,
for Gertrude at her best, for Alice tucked in back without a view
like misplaced punctuation, and we prayed our prayers for what
lives souls take, for bad winters, dusty apartments, war, shabby dress.
©2015 Michael Gessner