Fair Encounter

Things have never been so splendored as seeing your face in the trees-
all muddled and unreal. Almost like forgetting to wear your glasses
and the distinction between gaze and smoke is no longer there.

You are like a storm cloud that drifted inland from the sea after
Helen and Menelaus sailed back from Troy. Forgive the metaphor,
but my father only taught me things from books.

Perhaps we have always known each other in some way;
Naples and Milan are not unforgiving kin and
we have crosshatched ourselves into something strange.

There is no holiness here, only fresh sea water and
quiet murmurations of me imagining our meeting over again -
music, brambles, cliffs, driftwood, mist, and a game of chess.

Oh, perhaps to think if we had met in winter
and we had shielded each other like starvelings under an elm,
cups of tea in hand and palm in palm on crystals of sand.

I’ve loved you full fathom five since the whistles and chants
Brought you to nest home in my hands. This is the very
idea of wonderment, to be here with you.

I am mortally yours forever in academic tones,
and wholly sentences pop out from pages to come alive
and capture you just so and bring you to me.

John William Waterhouse,  Miranda (The Tempest) , 1916

John William Waterhouse, Miranda (The Tempest), 1916


MARILYN SCHOTLAND is a poet from Philadelphia currently studying for a BA in History of Art at the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award, and a nominee for Bettering American Poetry. Recent and forthcoming publications can be found in Cotton Xenomorph, Glass: A Journal of PoetryOcculum, and Five:2:One.