“Temple You”

by Lisa Russ Spaar

What is mysterious about loss,
flush of arm pulled from a wilted sleeve,

summer’s urine-tang in autumn leaves?
Let John Keats light another fag.

Or Brontë refuse the doctor
on her black sateen settee.

For whatever part of you
may be taken away, you said,

is the scar I will visit first
with my mouth, each time,

as gold visits the thieved till,
sun the obliterated sill,

saying praise you for leaving
me this you, this living still.

— Poetry, February 2013

Lisa Russ Spaar’s most recent book of poems isVanitas, Rough (December 2012). A collection of her essays, The Hide-and-Seek Muse: Annotations of Contemporary Poetry, is due out in March 2013. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Weinstein Award for Poetry, the Library of Virginia Award, and a Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Women Writers. Spaar is a professor at the University of Virginia.