Four poems by George Amabile

New Work

I step out
into the sheer daze

of summer, looking
to make friends, love

or a killing.

is an accident.
Save me one dance.


blackens the leaves.

Crows in the city.
Thunder and white rain.

Tires peel a slick, misty
tape away from the street.

Sails in the bay.
A tilt field

of Japanese paper.
When she laughs like that

deep in her throat
it sounds like water.


She tells me love is eternal
marmalade, a sacred mush
flecked with significant bitters.

After the last late show
The National Anthem
roars like an empty cage.


Sometimes history changes key and soars.
Sometimes it sits there like a damaged animal.

At night, cliques of private light
scurry over the river.

From the sequence “Tangents and Vectors,” in Dancing with Mirrors, forthcoming later this year with the Porcupine’s Quill.


George Amabile

George Amabile’s poetry has been published internationally in over a hundred magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Poetry, Poetry Australia, and Canadian Literature. He edited the seminal Manitoba literary magazines The Far Point and Northern Light and has published seven books, including Tasting the Dark: New and Selected Poems (The Muses Company, 2001).