For the final Deep Water column of 2020, here is “The Last Night,” by Annaliese Jakimides. This poem is inspired by a beautifully playful sculpture made out of curved white marble – a sculpture that is also a slide. “The Last Night” meditates whimsically on this artwork, conjuring a scene that’s magical, mythic and a little profane. I don’t know the full story behind it, but I’m happy just to immerse, and I find I keep coming back to the “12-o’clock position” it describes – that is, the top of the slide. Wishing us all a release from 2020 with the whoosh and delight of the best trip down and onward.

Jakimides’s prose and poetry have been published in journals, magazines, and anthologies both regionally and nationally. After 25 years on a dirt road in northern Maine, she now lives in and works from an apartment in Bangor, supporting the vision of organizations like Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice.

Poets, please note that submissions to Deep Water are open through the end of the year. Deep Water is especially eager to share poems by Black writers, writers of color, indigenous writers, and other underrepresented voices. You’ll find a link to submit in the credits below.

The Last Night

By Annaliese Jakimides

         —Slide Mantra, by Isamu Noguchi (Bottocino marble c. 1985)

In the bed of white sheets and white

cases, a worn blanket, milky

urinal by the white wall, I see

a shadow in a tunnel of

borrowed marble,

smell rosewater smoke.

Two moons rub against each

other like lovers in mindless rut.

Talking is essential, and

just as impossible as the two moons.

I drape myself on the steps

knowing he will climb

the staircase to heaven at

the 12 o’clock position,

twittering sparrows queuing up

one scratched LP after another.

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “The Last Night,” copyright © 2019 by Annaliese Jakimides, appears by permission of the author. Submissions to Deep Water are open now and through the end of the year. For more information, go to mainewriters.org/deep-water.

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