THE CLOISTERS

I'd forgotten the erotic ambiance of that A train to the Cloisters
after you deconstructed Edward Hopper at the Whitney.
A lascivious angel danced over the heads of the perpetually unchaste

as you described how one young thing (a thick-ankled blonde
standing in a doorway) looked as if she'd been knocked up by a god,
her life captured in all its sun-drenched vacancy.

We were different. Ours was the case history of a man
unable to behave divinely, though I remember the warmth of your body
behind those quince trees in the courtyard.
         
All these years I've kept your Marxist bibliography
in my wallet, afraid to destroy it until its relevance expired.
I still revere you but it's time to say goodbye Lukacs, goodbye Foucault:

what's worth saving can't be saved, having died as we walked
the stations of the cross under a cold March sun that never burst
into revelatory light, smoldering ineffectually behind persistent clouds.


Scott Coffel
SCOTT COFFEL's poems have appeared in Salmagundi, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Antioch Review, MARGIE, and The American Scholar, with work forthcoming in Seneca Review and Barrow Street. He teaches technical communications at The University of Iowa.
TAR