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Three Poems

Morning lazy sounds
nothing much except birds
and a car maybe passes
sky a clear blue with dabs of cloud sorbet
above white, hand-curved stucco
dark blue shutters, interlocked tile roof
one guy pushes a car downhill,
another steers, a woman comes
out of her gate, loads her trunk
with a blanket on top, closes it
a car from the auto escola drives by
a butterfly flits around a garden
a man begins tying rope
to the bottom of his truck
while his dog peers over the side
the man begins attaching the rope
to a car behind the truck, lying on the asphalt,
and the white, black-eared dog
scratches at the truck’s window happily
a pregnant woman gets out
of the car into the truck
attempts to drive it away
but the rope comes untied from the car
she backs up, and they try again
the second time, they get half a block
a man pulls up in a black Volkswagen Voyage
and goes into the pharmacy
as a woman comes out
two men walk up the sidewalk
followed by another, an old man
in the sun on the other side, in sandals
there is a rhythm in the way
things continue, one after another
on a Saturday morning
it is not hurried, and there is enough
space between each act to keep it
separate, they don’t blend into
each other, but slowly accumulate
as pieces of a life no one noticed 

The Moment

The moment has passed,
vain to try resuscitate it,
as hand lettering, once
put as dedication, stays

in the groove chosen for it.
Sun played through bamboo
a moment, a twinkle that
cleans as it chooses: you

and you, and not, perhaps,
you. Lines written at morning,
pocketed day’s impetus starting,
at evening come back swollen,

ready to bear a mystic fruit,
root of compassion, hearing
the person across a table, a
world, the real convening

at ultimate dusk, pine
glorious, palm refulgent simply
stretched across the sky again
multiplying and asking why.

The Sky

I looked and tried to remember
There was a feeling of relief there
In the sky, distant spaces
Grand shapes and centrally
A lighter patch that was
A document of early activity

An excellent calm descended 
On the neighborhood
Planes and cars and birds were heard
But lightly, and breeze through 
The leaves. 

Vincent Katz is the author of the books of poems Swimming Home (Nightboat Books) and Southness (Lunar Chandelier Press), among others. His book of translations, The Complete Elegies of Sextus Propertius (Princeton University Press), won the National Translation Award, given by the American Literary Translators Association. Raphael Rubinstein has characterized Katz as “A 21st-century flâneur whose wanderings range from the sidewalks and subways of New York City to the crowded beaches of Rio de Janeiro.”