The National Poetry Review

James Najarian


Dusk. Color draws back from the eye.
The earth paces from alloy to alloy.

The gravel I tread, a side of barn,
the ridge that only locals name—

glisten like something galvanized.
Even the field I stumble through—

minutes ago, it offered soybeans
punctured by witch-grass and touch-me-not;

now it is only a plot of pewter.
Each oval leaf is cast in sand.

Fireflies mete out their bits of pyrite:
the only color here, a flicker that

returns in a window of the house below —
a light in a casket of tarnished plate,

where my mother wheels herself
half-inch by quarter-inch, to bed.

JAMES NAJARIAN’s verse has been published in Borderlands, West Branch, The Cape Rock, Tar River Poetry, Christianity and Literature and other literary journals. He teaches nineteenth-century literature (but not creative writing) at Boston College, where he also edits the scholarly journal Religion and the Arts.