That Our Desire is Increased by Difficulty

Beethoven lays his head on the piano. The listener looks away.

A circle of sportsmen close in on the doe.

The sky is hostile, the sky is hostile, the forest
one of many sounds that won't move.

Stuck in the arm of the unclouded day, I whyed and I whyed;
I asked the moon to eat the sun

and the river, for once, to stand still.

Under a cloak of fake night, the thief bypasses what's open
and goes straight for the locked door.

While Vronsky pours a drink, Anna watches the oncoming train.

Unclose your eyes, wanderer: that's a way, too,
of refusing relief,

a way of sharpening the knife
while you thunder out a song.

Body of wood, be my voice.
If your breath sees mine, the fall is coming.

Jennifer Moore is the author of The Veronica Maneuver (University of Akron Press). Poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Best New Poets, B O D Y, The Volta, and elsewhere. A native of the Seattle area, Jennifer is an assistant professor at Ohio Northern University and lives in Bowling Green, Ohio.

* Title is taken from an essay by Michel de Montaigne.