Gymnopédie no. 1, 1888 by Clayton Longstaff

Poem name: Gymnopédie no. 1, 1888 Poet name: Clayton Longstaff Poem: That life is but the dream half remembered, half made up, never entirely certain to whom (or is it to who?) the question of belonging belongs. That a glint of newly showered light threaded gold like bracelets, Buccellati, slipping over row after fragrant row of sandalwood charms a slowing of pace reminds me just how much I’ll miss this world, its spirited bent for ornament, the tiny flakes of it that wear your skin, when all of this is really gone. In the song, the painfullest of three, imagination’s arcing edifice over the real collapses to the parted pearled wings of two lovers skeletal in the portly night, stirring memory with a wish that life could be the dream we wake from— its edges made soft as some feather fallen off a bird that maybe once flew by here. End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Clayton Longstaff Forthcoming in Funicular Magazine, 2022/2023 Clayton Longstaff’s work has appeared in publications including The Dalhousie Review, Geist, Canadian Literature, and elsewhere. He lives on the unceded territory of the Lekwungen & W̱SÁNEĆ nations.