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Best Famous Mark Doty Poems

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by Mark Doty | |

A Green Crabs Shell

 Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular.
We cannot know what his fantastic legs were like-- though evidence suggests eight complexly folded scuttling works of armament, crowned by the foreclaws' gesture of menace and power.
A gull's gobbled the center, leaving this chamber --size of a demitasse-- open to reveal a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells of seaweed and ruin, this little traveling case comes with such lavish lining! Imagine breathing surrounded by the brilliant rinse of summer's firmament.
What color is the underside of skin? Not so bad, to die, if we could be opened into this-- if the smallest chambers of ourselves, similarly, revealed some sky.


by Mark Doty | |

At the Gym

 This salt-stain spot
marks the place where men
lay down their heads,
back to the bench,

and hoist nothing
that need be lifted
but some burden they've chosen
this time: more reps,

more weight, the upward shove
of it leaving, collectively,
this sign of where we've been:
shroud-stain, negative

flashed onto the vinyl
where we push something
unyielding skyward,
gaining some power

at least over flesh,
which goads with desire,
and terrifies with frailty.
Who could say who's added his heat to the nimbus of our intent, here where we make ourselves: something difficult lifted, pressed or curled, Power over beauty, power over power! Though there's something more tender, beneath our vanity, our will to become objects of desire: we sweat the mark of our presence onto the cloth.
Here is some halo the living made together.


by Mark Doty | |

Description

 My salt marsh
-mine, I call it, because
these day-hammered fields

of dazzled horizontals
undulate, summers,
inside me and out-

how can I say what it is?
Sea lavender shivers
over the tidewater steel.
A million minnows ally with their million shadows (lucky we'll never need to know whose is whose).
The bud of storm loosens: watered paint poured dark blue onto the edge of the page.
Haloed grasses, gilt shadow-edged body of dune… I could go on like this.
I love the language of the day's ten thousand aspects, the creases and flecks in the map, these brillant gouaches.