Cori Gabbard

Still Life, 2016

My existence:

not a van Boeckel peach,
vermilion and aureate

but a Rembrandt tulip
madder striƦ on ivory

whose fixity
unlike that of the fruit

speaks not to the
immortality of its

own resplendence
but to its hollowness

as a paean to a man
who never painted

a single petal


Glissando into silence:

Turntabled flapper jazz
diminishes to a

turning of tables

in my pointed impervium
to the metered offerings

of my pestering muse


was the road
both taken and not
when I prattled on
about the inanities
of my own existence
instead of articulating
the first thought that
your inquiry
as to how I was
instantaneously evoked:

that in the wake
of the irredeemable

your family
however loss-wracked

in Fortune’s graces

your presence in their lives
an immutable given