May 28, 2004

there's a black tinted sunset, the prettiest of skies

Three poems by Franz Wright

The Talk

Aged a lot during our talk
(you were gone).
Left and wandered the streets for some hours—
melodramatic, I know—
poor, crucified by my teeth.

And yet, how we talked
for a while.
All those things we had wanted to say for so long,
yes—I sat happily nodding
my head in agreement,
but you were gone.
In the end it gets discouraging.

I had let myself in;
I'd sat down in your chair.
I could just see you reading late
in the soft lamp-light—
looking at a page,

listening to its voice,

yellow light shed in circles, in stillness,
all about your hair . . .

The Street

On it lives one bird

who commences singing, for some reason best known to
itself, at precisely 4 a.m.

Each day I listen for it in the night.
I too have a song to say alone

but can't begin. On it, surrounded by blocks of
black warehouses,

is located this room. I say this room, but no one
knows

how many rooms I have. So many rooms how shall I
light

so many . . . Also yours, though you are never
there.

It's true I've been gone a long time.
But I have come back. I have.

Where are you?
I can change.

When You See Fame Coming, Run

I owe you so much--
I owe you my life.
I would have killed myself
five different times, had it
not been for the thought of
your intense secret pleasure
while you wept at my grave.

I would go hiddenly,
write in rage: when she smiles
she looks just like a knife blade--
know what I mean.
In my mind, I was already dead; now

I am alive again
and it is you
who're deceased, despite appearances
and I like this
so much better.

To tell you the truth.

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