portion of the artwork for Gail Peterson's poetry

As If Anybody Still Looks Up
Gail Peterson

It looks as if
Raphael reached out from Rome
to dab a brush thick with pigment

on the blue over Oakland,
molding cloud solid as earth,
for some archangel to step out on.

Bright air blesses sidewalks and
rows of storefronts like bad teeth;
come evening, it spangles vacant windows,

gilds scrap yard, mall, the failing elementary,
finds rat trash, paraphernalia. Glory
wafting through power lines on lifeless trees.

In the gutter diamonds go to gold,
as if smashed glass
still has the heart for reflection.

Under that sky,
in a house that leans on its porch,
a woman with no urge to look outside

sits in a darkening room watching
reruns of memories and wishing to heaven
for a tv that works.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 34 | Fall 2011