Emily Ransdell

Night Sky

Adam Awoke After Being Banished by Azam Atakhanov

It goes on forever,
beyond error and indignity,
accusation and bruise.
No matter how many sorrows
are torn from memory,
how many griefs
neatly folded and shelved,
night shines its thousand lights down:
the archer with his lonely bow,
the bull’s bright eye. The dipper
on the back of the bear.

Once I was a girl who rode
the long tails of wishes
as I laid on the dock looking up.
Ice and iron
is what they were made of.
Beauty and dust.
Gravity like a kind of forgiveness,
letting the flaming pieces fall.


About the writer:
Emily Ransdell’s work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Poet Lore, Sugar House Review, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Ransdell has been a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize and the New Letters Prize in Poetry. A four-time Pushcart nominee, she divides her time between Camas, Washington, and the North Oregon Coast.

Image: Adam Awakes in Sri Lanka After Being Banished from Paradise by Azam Atakhanov. Oil on canvas. 120 x 100 cm. 2012. By permission. Atakhanov is the O:JA&L Featured Artist for June 2019.