Genevieve Leone

Genevieve Leone's poems have appeared in Faultline, POOL and Zocalo Public Square. She lives and teaches in Shanghai, China.

MATSUSHIMA (After Bashō)

I took a boat through two-hundred islands going nowhere in particular. At night there was wind. I walked the empty streets–no one stopped me. Then, morning and some snow. Well, here I am. I smiled and bowed. I didn’t read a newspaper or offer an opinion.

Islands piled upon other islands. “Smoke of burning leaves and pine cones drew me on,” read one translation.

The moon rose. I wandered from room to room–in each, I looked through a window. The window looked back. It was the beginning of the new year.




Featured Image by:  Jon Grönholm

The Gleize Bridge over the Vigueirat Canal

     after Van Gogh

Indigo and orange river and the women, kneeling. White where there might be clothes. The act of bending, to wash away. Sienna riverbanks. A lone figure on the bridge. It is gratifying to draw a human being something alive. Lifted into the cool of sky we, the watchers, are already future and looking back. What is between blue and violet is still, in the time of the painting. There is misery somewhere but not here, in the colors I mean to hold and can’t keep.