SOMETIMES A JOY APPEARS by Richard Brostoff

SOMETIMES A JOY APPEARS

White mountain
dance retreat:

after the others
have gone,

after long grief,
by the stone fireplace

all night
turning and turning

in the lodge,
disorienting myself.

Reliable partner,
the space slowly

transforms,
reveals its hidden

fault lines, opens
onto other worlds.

In reverie
I slip into interiors,

half dream:
a dusky pool

stills by a field.
I dive into

its long tunnel
of dark,

until beyond
a fluent sheen appears,

and ripples out
in broadening circles.

As if my mind
could state change

to lit water:
a sudden

transparency
beyond thought––

as early morning
in the mountain valley,

tranquil and untouched
the clear

lake water
dilates

its sheathed
surface of light:

unexpected––
from hidden places

widening out––
the glass sheet

of my joy.


Richard Brostoff’s work has appeared in Rattle, North American Review, Poetry East, Madison Review, Folio, Alabama Literary Review, Texas Review, Atlanta Review, descant, Gulf Stream, The Anthology of New England Writers, Confrontation, South Dakota Review, River Oak Review, The Distillery, The Moth, Hawaii Pacific Review, Apricity Magazine, Cumberland River Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, Ep;phany, Mantis, Wisconsin Review, Eclipse, Red Wheelbarrow, The Louisville Review, Southeast Review, Magma, Verse Daily, and many other journals. He won the grand prize at the AEI International Poetry Festival, the editor’s choice for the Robert Penn Warren Award, and was a finalist for the Iowa Review Poetry Contest and the Gival Book Award. His chapbook Momentum was published by La Vita Poetica (2007). A second chapbook, A Few Forms of Love, was published by Finishing Line Press (2012).