A Picture of Paradise

by Will Schutt

That’s the life:
the sunset petting the swayback boat
and the beach a pinch of turmeric.
Scan the bay for tension; even the sail
tucked into the mast
looks like icing round the rounds of cakes
they must be washing down
with sparkling wine in white linen,
or off-white linen, their legs
straight as spars,
their faces forward-facing, triangular flags
minus the ping of pulleys
being beaten by west-going winds.
Like Dante, we get tongue-tied in heaven:
Everyone surfs
on waves of celestial music. They surf.
Everyone is free, bound for nowhere.

WILL SCHUTT is the author of Westerly, winner of the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. A graduate of Oberlin College and Hollins University, he is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the James Merrill House, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. His poems and translations have appeared in Agni, Field, and The New Republic. He is currently the Tickner Writing Fellow at the Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland.