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New Year’s Eve

Written by Lisa Russ Spaar, Horace W. Goldsmith Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Creative Writing Program, Dept. of English, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences


New Year’s Eve


I’m a sucker for a gothic ending:
for example, this opal brooch of sky,
like milk tinged with blood

behind a leaden fret of branches,
the year going down, distant as nursery glow,
natal and passionate.

Returning to my car in the dusk,
along an alley of tall boxwoods
hiding private yards, with houses

at the far ends of them, each extinguished
by a certain compromise and sadness,
my tongue stung with champagne

from a party I’ve just fled,
coat heavy on my shoulders,
reminder that all ways are one, at the last—

my throat stops suddenly with longing.
Not for what I still don’t know,
but for what I have known, with you inside me:

blue on blue, and that fierce, white star.
Dark arteries. Splendor of hope’s risk,
still running there.


© Lisa Russ Spaar.  From Blue Venus:  Poems  (Persea Books, 2004)