by Christopher Locke

Published in Issue No. 49 ~ June, 2001

— after Wim Wenders

Berlin is thick with ruin,

and the angel is expected

to be less than a shadow — to stare

down impotent at all their crying

out, their replays in a great

theater of loss. Shaking rain

from his wings, he settles

into a library, everyone sitting,

or standing between the orderly

shelves. He leans close, their thoughts

smashing like waves against desire —

the sorrow of it.

And that’s when he notices

her, a woman, the light

of her face glowing above

an open book; the angel sees

what he can not have: the slow

rapture of one heart into another.

She sighs and shifts her head,

and he wants to touch the fortress

of her wanting, the mere breath

of it. He feels his wings

detach, and she turns slightly,

unsure, a weight, (something

like sweetness), at her shoulder.

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Christopher Locke's poetry was recently featured on National Public Radio. He has several new poems upcoming in Exquisite Corpse's e-zine and his second collection, Slipping Under Diamond Light, is forthcoming this summer. Chris writes for Red Herring Magazine.