Miami sunlight, as in a painting
by the poet Donald Justice:
a V of three pelicans drifting south
past the condos and the royal palms,
aflame now with the green scent
of coconut & parrot. Out, out
towards the darker waters
the pelicans keep drifting …

I watch my in-laws, both eighty now,
shift about their small apartment
here north of the city, and guess
at what it is they must be thinking:
the brilliance of some perfect noon,
the doctor staring down into the shallows
of their eyes, as the soul slips now
through the gaping fissures …

It is what we always think about,
though we mask it every way we can …
and think instead of sunlight in Miami,
as in a painting by the poet Donald
Justice, which shows the keylime
cobalt brilliance of a surging
Gulf Stream, and in the background
three dots drifting slowly out to sea …

Paul Mariani

A Message from the Editors

As a reader of our efforts, you have stood with us on the front lines in the battle for culture. Learn how your support contributes to our continued defense of truth.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 10 Number 4, on page 127
Copyright © 2019 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com
staging.newcriterion.com/issues/1991/12/variations-on-a-theme-by-justice