A Poem By Brian Blanchfield

Pterygium

Hallmark meteorology: a little what-if weather
sworn over time to the ridgeline conditions
the basiners downvalley to the lucky look
of trouble. In an updraft apprehension
replenishes the cloud, a steady sort of borrowing

against promise. Welling at bottom, a slow spring fills
centrally where it plummets, a sump and font that fills

convexity out to its inky meniscus, whether
there the landmark melancholy were owing
to the mirror it lends the blotted sky or to the condition
of abysses. A cygnet is drawn anyway, milky, apprehensive,

to water’s edge, to study his launch, and fixes his look
across the curvature, a creature whose rarity may—look

again—enrapture each round-turning drake that fills
brown the pond beyond his brink.

                                                  One’s apprehensive
tryst can be determinative: not to ask outright whether,
of his irregularity, it were wound or condition,

as though on the surface sensitive material were issuing
from the trademark metonymy, a little wing

a pilot polishes on his boy’s lapel. His broken look,
portioned out, is symptomatic, a precondition
even, of the miscue an infatuated lover ever fills
his windy pennant with, predicative of what-if weather.

What if you could see from your signature? A preemptive
brokerage, like a birthright, but more comprehensive

since the undersigned self-attests, and winks the other, undergoing
the immediate future: I’m with damage, the weather—
what of it?—a blown impunity. Who holds this look
holds a man. Did it hurt? Was he smitten? Did it fill

when he was in velvet with shorthorn, and condition
him to devilshine? Was it mothered? Is its nacre a condition

thereof? Or is the birthmark masonry? Or perhaps if
we “drag it clear from its glacial stagnation” it fulfills
what Baudelaire proposed was beauty. Misfortune
exteriorized, rescuing liquidity from the mint. Now look

through that. Now see through these. The weather,
refocusing this way, is a matter to do (the matter either

weeping over) less with conditions than with outlook,
in the pink or, near squint, in the given umbrage
one from another has taken to bed—
                                                  where partiality refills.



Brian Blanchfield is the author, newly, of A Several World, from Nightboat Books, and The History of Ideas, 1973–2012, a chapbook published by Spork Press.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.