Wearing a mask on the spring Saturday
when everything’s opening up again,
he wanders through the park he calls nameless.
He knows some would ask the old men who stare
from windows and porches. Some would Google.
He could ask the leaves but prefers not to.
Elsewhere maskless people parade up and
down streets past restaurants and stores they once
frequented, once worked in, once aspired to.
But today is a day of respite. Sea-
green fog reaches for sunlight that will push
it away soon. Thick, olive leaves promise
scented shade for when the sun becomes strong.
Red roses flicker. Young butterflies bless
leaves, twigs, grass, empty Red Bull cans, and
the artist who imagines she wanders
through an old painting she once glimpsed in school,
through the painting she will begin soon.
—After Hung-Ju Kan, Density Versus Emptiness-20-9 (2021) and
Density Versus Emptiness-20-8 (2020) *
most recent books are Poetry en Plein Air (Pony One Dog Press, 2020) and On the Other Side of the Window (Pski’s Porch, 2019). Her poems have appeared in Verse-Virtual, Red Eft Poetry Review, Trouvaille Review, and Sheila-na-gig, among others. Some of her poems have been translated into Polish, Italian, and Cherokee. Other poems are forthcoming in The Sligo Journal and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She lives in the DC area with the wry poet and flash fiction writer Ethan Goffman and their cat.
⚡ Ekphrasis: Moving Beyond One’s Self in Poetry by Marianne Szlyk in Long Exposure (29 September 2018), Word & Image Series