Calder’s mobiles don’t hang straight but sidle up to the planet with wry but confident angles
I envy but can’t emulate. The one hanging in your kitchen looks like a tiny thunderstorm.
Posed there, you tilt and veer sideways, confounding my approach. I snatch a beer from the fridge and pretend
I’m too manly to let art as fragile and tentative as Calder’s shift my vision even an inch.
Your whole apartment reeks of art. Drawings primp in off-white mats. Figurines in marble and bronze
squat in speechless dolor. One splash of oil painting cowers the sofa on which I’d hoped we could splay
not like lovers but comrades determined to resolve the world. You acquired your mobile from the man
himself, who in his last years touched your childhood with tiny implements essential to kinetic sculpture.
The rest of your collection deployed as your elegance formed itself from air, water, fire and earth.
I wish I had known you when stones first cracked in your presence and rivers slopped over their banks
and storefronts coughed up trinkets to pave your way through Harvard Square where your early triumphs occurred.
Calder saw this coming and planted his mobile to observe and relate your effects by shifting its angles subtly enough to mimic the way you balance entire worlds on the tip of your pointed tongue.
-- William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and teaches at Keene State College. His most recent book of poetry is The Suburbs of Atlantis(2013). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Atlanta Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Worcester Review, Harvard Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review, and Natural Bridge.