Joelle Hann


Since the highrises and the fancy dock
went in, Byzantium looks like Florida
or the coast of Spain—

working people on holiday
with palm fronds and sickly drinks.

A lot of concrete.

After three hours on the beach,
carrying a small volume of Yeats,
I don’t care for exposed flesh anymore.

I just want my little flask
and to never take off my sunglasses.
It’s not pleasant to expose myself
whenever I want to.

I want lapus lazuli and priests,
birds of prayer and gold leaf.
I want Isaiah and the fervor
of Greek or Russian Orthodox,
stone walls, exclusion and mystery.

I apply zinc to my nose and slowly get drunk.
Tide is out.
No sailing tonight.
No Byzantium.