USA/Mexico | 2014
Jennifer Clement is the author of the memoir Widow Basquiat (on the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat) and the novels: A True Story Based on Lies, The Poison That Fascinates and Prayers for the Stolen(a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Book), which received an NEA Fellowship for Literature and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award. She is also the author of several books of poetry including The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin). Clement’s work has been translated into 22 languages. In 1997 she, co-founded the San Miguel Poetry Week with her sister, Barbara Sibley.
At night in early June,
fireflies spill into the garden
from the olive grove
and their on-and-on-and-on lights
hold the day’s last particle of sun.
Across the garden, in the Writer’s Tower,
books fall open to rectangular, marble-pale
dedication pages. Here names
written in black ink, with a preceding To or For,
recall lives on paper headstones.
Some nights soft rains fall and fall
on stone and grass, steep the green-grey
trees, put out the fire
of fireflies, warp the books,
and, in this mist, turn Tower to steeple.