Revenge by Joseph Fasano
Associate poetry editor Amy Elisabeth Hansen on today's bonus poem: Read Joseph Fasano’s “Revenge” to watch long, elegant sentences spill into clipped lines. See each image nudged to life by white space and line breaks. Be surprised by “this one world with its iridescence / infolded.”
I was young. I’d come
to the end of something.
Off the far point, past the ruined spruce,
the thousands of dark-winged bodies
I’d traveled so far to bring down
as though the swift
had never been, as though they were
the darkened heart of all
that had risen to be drifted,
flew on, caught in the greatnesses of their migration.
What’s to be done
for it, this one world with its iridescence
infolded? What I can remember now
is hawk-song, is
preying; is your one life will grow abundant
What I remember now
is wintering, is fair.
Hungering, come back
to me, wholly, where I stood there
in that open boat
when I took aim beneath the Great Bear and the Hunter and
fury, and then
fire; when the flocks came down
to shame me with their
anger; when they hunched me in the madness of their passing
and I looked down
through the mooned and mirrored waters
such mercy, see
the dark wings parting
by me, see the winged world drifts from darkness
to the darkness but where wholeness
rends its splendor, we are there.
Joseph Fasano's most recent book is Vincent (Cider Press 2015), a book-length poem based on the murder of Tim McLean. His previous books are Fugue for Other Hands, winner of the 2011 Cider Press Review Book Award and Poets' Prize nominee, and Inheritance (Cider Press 2014). His poems have appeared in The Yale Review, The Southern Review, The Times Literary Supplement, Tin House, FIELD, The American Literary Review, Measure, and other publications. A winner of the RATTLE Poetry Prize, he has been a finalist for the Missouri Review Editors' Prize and the Times Literary Supplement Poetry Competition, among other honors. He teaches at Columbia University and Manhattanville College.