Robert Lavett Smith


The fog's so dense
windows brim
with a soggy whiteness
amounting to erasure.

I've never been persuaded
by the traditional image of Heaven:
concupiscent clouds and rosy light,
substantial radiance, splendor made flesh.

How much likelier it seems
that whatever lies beyond
resembles this roiling void,
brain-gray and bloodied

by a halfhearted dawn
that can't quite manage to break.
Sounds seem muted as well,
as after a deep snowfall�

like the indecipherable voices
my late wife must have heard
in the depths of coma, rumors
penetrating the heft of death�

or like the stutter of lightning
on a drenched horizon,
everything drizzle and shadow
as darkness starts to fall

Robert Lavett Smith

Raised in New Jersey, ROBERT LAVETT SMITH has lived since 1987 in San Francisco, where for the past fifteen years he has worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional. He has studied with Charles Simic and Galway Kinnell. He is the author of several chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections, the most recent of which is Smoke In Cold Weather: A Gathering of Sonnets (Full Court Press, 2013).

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