A Poem By Alissa Quart

Degrees

This town is a proverb: a woman
waiting. Thoughts have citations,
skies are marine.
All this strong weather.
Chance is dead or
just got tenure.
Mt. Olympus is a tea.
Fleeced heads loll on
valedictory brick. Jam jar
gaslights hold not much new.

Nobody’s money made strangely.
No fragrant extras of our wilder port
cities: cleavage, pulse points,
direction. No secular vespers or seared
artichokes. No agented lust.
Read the town best in a porcelain
serving dish; the chipped tail
of its hand-painted fish.




Alissa Quart’s poetry has appeared in Open City, Fence and soon the London Review of Books. She’s the author of three non-fiction books including Branded and the forthcoming Republic of Outsiders. Her journalism has appeared in many publications, most recently The New York Times’ Sunday Review. She also writes bi-weekly for New York‘s Broadminded.

In a world where poetry offers the best chance of salvation to a weary population, the one place to turn is The Poetry Section’s archives. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.