Some of my favorites.
The Day Of My Death
In a city, Trieste or Udine,
along the linden boulevard,
when in spring
the leaves change color,
I’ll drop dead
under the ardent sun,
blonde and tall,
and I’ll close my eyes,
leaving the sky to its splendor.
Under a warm green linden
I’ll fall into my death’s darkness,
scattering linden and sun.
The beautiful boys
will run in that light
which I’ve just lost,
flying from school
with curls on their brows.
~Pasolini, who didn’t get this wish.
from Furious Versions
But I own a human story,
whose very telling
The characters survive through the telling,
the teller survives
by his telling; by his voice
brinking silence does he survive.
But, no one
can tell without cease
story, and so we
But I’ll not widow the world.
I’ll tell my human
tale, tell it against
the current of that vaster, that
I’ll measure time by losses and destructions.
Because the world
is so rich in detail, all of it so frail;
because all I love is imperfect;
because all my memory’s flaw
isn’t in retention but organization;
because no one asked.
from First Thanksgiving
Now she doesn’t need love like that, she has
had it. She will walk in glowing, we will talk,
and then, when she’s fast asleep, I’ll exult
to have her in that room again,
behind that door! As a child, I caught
bees, by the wings, and held them, some seconds,
looked into their wild faces,
listened to them sing, then tossed them back
into the air – I remember the moment the
arc of my toss swerved, and they entered
the corrected curve of their departure.
Nothing has changed.
Except the run of rivers,
the shapes of forests, shores, deserts, and glaciers.
The little soul roams among those landscapes,
disappears, returns, draws near, moves away,
evasive and a stranger to itself.
now sure, now uncertain of its own existence,
whereas the body is and is and is
and has nowhere to go.
All of these, in a way, are about the processes of illness to me. And tonight, I don’t have words for it, so I’m sharing their words.