Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Poems: "Epilogue" -- by Steve Gehrke

For my daughter

If the body is primal, if the body is performed,
if the body is a city made of matches,
something the self burns as it retreats,

if death is a victory, if death is a cascade,
if death is the moment when the pianist rises
from the piano and the piano plays on,

if you are a theater, if you are the wandering
troupe, if you have checked, lost traveler,
into the softest of hotels, if you already existed,

in endless repetitions, like an echo which,
biopsied, grows to completion, like the flames
on a candelabra, not just born from a single

match, but wavering in the tip before it’s
struck, the whole hive singularized, a queen
subject to her ovaries, if the same horses

grazing in me are grazing in you, if the body
is a field written in hoofprints, the whole
ghostly herd passing through, then I’ll meet you

where the generations end, where the last gene
evaporates, my invisible, my twin...And
Fortinbras enters, followed closely by the wind.

* * * * *

Steve Gehrke teaches poetry, screenwriting and literature at the University of Nevada, Reno. His work has been recognized with a John Ciardi Prize for Poetry, Philip Levine Prize in Poetry, National Poetry Series and Lannan Foundation award.

Gehrke has published many poetry collections. His most recent is Michelangelo's Seizure (2007).


  1. Lovely. Simply lovely and stirring.

  2. I love the way the words/lines/question keeps tumbling forward to its resolution