Nabokov’s Notecards by Judith Skillman

French panes where you waken—the room smaller,
the town foreign. The morning sun prismed,

cutting through one house to wing another.
The train whistle urgent, its butterflied

cars snaking as if through tunnels inside
other tunnels. The giftee can never

thank the giftor. Protagonist outside—
on leaving his prison-castle—blinks, dazed

by the escape route through green-blue waters.
You dream of counter-espionage, schisms.

Is it autumn come back to recommend
travel abroad, to dictate another

kind of aging, future’s doppelganger?
Double glass holds full moons: faint, feint, fainter.

Judith Skillman’s collection, “The Phoenix, New and Selected Poems 2007 – 2013” is forthcoming from Dream Horse Press. She’s the recipient of awards from Academy of American Poets, Washington State Arts Commission, and other organizations. Two of her books (“Red Town,” “Prisoner of the Swifts”) have been finalists for the Washington State Book Award. Skillman currently teaches at Yellow Wood Academy, Mercer Island, Washington. For more visit or see her blog on techno-bling: