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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Piccola Elegia (Charles Wright)

L.G.: Requiescat

Nicky, the word has come to the west coast
of how you
shuffled your feet, stammered
and slipped out the back door

when no one was looking.
What did you have in mind?

* * * *

I picture myself back there,
in the kitchen, peering out
through the glass, then through the orchard, your shirt

a small red dot among
the apple trees that run down
the long slope: the water
glitters and flashes in

the cold sunlight; I try
to open the window, to tell you
to wait, to come back, but
it is too late, too
late in the day; already

the boat is adrift; it is
on fire; the flames
splash at the gunwales; and you
are smoke, Nicky, you are smoke.

1 comment:

Tess said...

One of the best last lines of a poem ever. (But you have to read the whole poem leading up to it to get the full power. Cheat not.)