Jill Gonet




Symbolic Refill

They’re going to start again in a moment—
the zither strings of rain.

The rain comes up against the windows
with its soft voice, one small decibel

after another. If space were any less
extensive while at the same time

connected to all of its ongoing parts,
the mind would not burst into a flower,

the altiplano would not dangle into
the blue deeps and set the kelp on fire.

There would be no bursts of crimson
in response to the furious world

as the sky assuages everything with
a cool day and many drops of rain,

rain mesmerizing at the windows
as the interior huddles more closely:

the sadness of soup bowls stacked
in the sink, the small still life

of the window stricken with winter—
days and weeks of wet strings swollen,

the ten threads of the hands,
the ten threads of the feet,

a knuckle, perhaps, from a naiad’s dream—
some ripple effect communicating the water.



Jill Gonet’s poetry has been widely published, and her poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, The New England Review, and Agni, among others. Her poems have been anthologized in On the Verge (Agni), An Exquisite Corpse Reader, The Best American Poetry, and The Best of the Best American Poetry. She has also been active in translating Chinese Taoist poetry, and has had three volumes published: Riding the Phoenix to Penglai, Red Pellet, Golden Bones, and Affinity with Immortals.