Back to Issue Thirty-Seven

The Beyond

2021 Gregory Djanikian Scholar in Poetry – Finalist


after Georgia O’Keefe

There will be no flowers to tend—
nothing bending toward light
or pressed between almanac pages.
Each season will be dusk-lit
and framed by endless blue—
rising tide and doe-shaped clouds,
bellies swollen and splitting with rain.
You, too, have always opened just so—
like a flower or a fist; like the hour
birdcalls break into every room
of your skull and fill you
with a hundred shades of gold.
The cathedral you made
of your arms, body raised from salt—
where was that far-off place?
The dream is already forgotten.
An ocean overflows. The rain outside
keeps calling you back, and hasn’t it
always been your mother that way?
In the beyond, the horizon will read
like a note in the margin of a book—
small reminder you left behind, your hand
steady without another to guide it.


Rob Shapiro received an MFA at the University of Virginia where he was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize. His poetry has appeared in AGNI, The Southern Review, and Ecotone, and has received the Edward Stanley Award from Prairie Schooner, as well as third place in Narrative’s 30 Below Contest. He lives in New York City.

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