In “Promenade,” this issue’s ekphrasis, Jameson Fitzpatrick responds to one of Chris Antemann’s porcelain sculptures, Boudoir (2011), in a poem that meditates—tenderly, wittily—on the ambiguities of misaligned desires, gender, time, beginnings, endings, and things that might have been—all of which may become (though they need not become) problems of aesthetics.

—Rebecca Ariel Porte



Right now I need to feel the weakness of all temporal things

down to the beauty
of my present

who is not my suitor quite
for it is my verse, not my beauty
he praises

by the river
where we walk and sit and talk
the tired subjects.

The passing of time,
wished-for futures, et cetera.

It is the second day of spring
and so am I thinking of another, further ending.

Not that one.

I never was the kind of young man he is.
Strapping, a word and quality
that has always made me

see myself tied up.
I would let him

I think, not
I would like him to.

My desire is so phrased. Meekly.

Unlike his expansive eyebrows,
nearly contiguous
with his hairline

and one another.
I liken them to a memory.
I liken him down

to a memory of useless ardor.
As poets do.
In a later mirror I’ll note a line

the sun has burned
where I parted my hair

in the center
in the hope of looking younger,
and prettier.

Oh, vanity! To remember that

tall as he was,
he would have watched it pinken.