On the Disintegration of Clearings

by Christopher Warner Issue: Spring/Summer 2020

for John Ashbery

By what pale names we flutter. The thrush lay
stunned. (Did I kill it?) Now the blossoms shift 
to ash. By what shall we be consoled?
Details. Floating minutia. Hazes of place 
and time. Not exactly signs, but still. 
Yours was an exquisite violence. 
(Unintelligible, that bird, but at least 
approachable in death.) Forgive my doubt—
How sad I am, swimming in this mirror,
this film of light crowning the abyss.



Christopher Warner

Christopher Warner works for the railroad and lives in central Illinois with his family. His poems appear in Narrative, Image, Copper Nickel, River Styx, Tupelo Quarterly, New South, and elsewhere.