THE POET, TURNING FORTY, IS CRANKY

“Or is the mystery of divinity an abyss of black?

How then can you come to me? why do you come back?

-Delmore Schwartz, Psyche Pleads With Cupid

 

The poet is cranky,

mirror-shy, for

tomorrow she turns 40.

 

But that might not be why;

maybe it’s all the waking up

by snoring.

 

Her hair grays, but slowly,

gradually, like

old skin or bone.

 

She feels no shame from class—

or so she likes to believe—

but there’s a boring self-consciousness.

A pain.

 

Though she never truly

wanted to be a professor or

some shitty editor? Did she?

 

She might have been

an architect, but the only

vocation she connected to

 

Was poetry; blood in

the streets; bugs in the

sheets;

 

Hell or High Water;

Heaven or the deafening

Earth of her home.

 

The arches of her

feet fall like something

in a book about Rome.

 

But he is warm and soon

he will enter this room,

giving fuck-all

whether the sky is torn

 

or their country a punch

bowl of gasoline and rum.

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