For Jim Dine’s Green Picture in My Meadow by Jill Bergantz Carley


For Jim Dine’s Green Picture in My Meadow

by Jill Bergantz Carley

A heart too big too verdant, made of all feed & just 

as I didn’t plan to think of you & the

best sex we ever had sitting over the orchestra silent & barely touching

Michael Tilson Thomas conducted Rachmaninoff’s fifth aural orgasm my hand bruised by your clench of delight.

It was only one gallery.

It was only one concert.

It was only one summer your great grandmother read my future in Turkish coffee grounds leaned into me said aloud,

Beauty, run.

I didn’t expect it in this place hemlock-hemmed  

I brought myself alone to stand at the steeled edge & face out from the sun & I can see through the mileage & the years straight back to you;

peering down from height that cold summer you dangled your affections and your car over a cliff and panted as strangers formed a human chain to pull me to safety.

This is not a metaphor.

This is not hyperbole.

This is the truth going down easier; you mixed strong White Russians while I waited on your mother’s creamy leather couch for your return.

I don’t know if it really is these tracks my patron saint of the piano passed upon exactly but I’ve placed a treasure 

of quarters awaiting not inevitable disaster all the same, death polish underwheel.

I woke up in Tijuana.

I woke up in your childhood bedroom.

I woke up on the Carquinez Bridge your brother foisting his body between us

a great lunge to twist the wheel & send us down--


author photo

Jill Bergantz Carley makes her home in Calaveras County, California, where she lives a half mile from the stoplight in a sweet town five blocks long. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poetry has appeared in ENTROPY, OPOSSUM, Silver Needle, & is forthcoming from 580 Split, Okay Donkey, Collective Unrest, and elsewhere.  She’s a Tupelo Press 30/30 poet, with a new poem published daily in March. You can follow her as she writes her way through the Ides & beyond at

(Pronouns: she/her)