Portrait of Sunset at Midnight
Sarah Maclay

She loves the way he’s promised nothing and fulfilled his promise.
Skirts have stilled—the palms could not be calmer—

sculptural, sepulchral. Perfect May. Even the homeless
woman padding across the street in shirtsleeves.

Palms like sutures, sixties chandeliers
still on in the two apartments with plaster ceilings, windows

open, estuary of metal passing, squarish steel dispensers
of paper—mailbox, “jobs.” A prostitute

making her rounds in shorts. The neon curve of sirens—
and it’s north, she’s facing north,

she knows where north is. Not a hint of wind:
null, null. Like a bell. Knell, knell.


You can read more poetry by Sarah Maclay in issue 3 of Swink.

Sarah Maclay's poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, FIELD, Ninth Letter, Hotel Amerika, The Writer’s Chronicle, POOL, ZZYZYVA, lyric, and numerous other publications, including Poetry International, where she serves as book review editor. Her debut full-length, Whore, won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, and she’s received three Pushcart nominations. She currently teaches poetry at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and conducts workshops both privately and, periodically, at Beyond Baroque.


© 2007 Swink, Inc.