Coffee and cigarettes in a clean cafe,
forsythia lit like a damp match against
a thundery sky drunk on its own ozone,
It's better to be a cat than to be a human.
Not because of their much-noted grace and beauty—
their beauty wins them no added pleasure, grace is
Everywhere I look I see my fate.
In the subway. In a stone.
On the curb where people wait for the bus in the rain.
When I think of my youth I feel sorry not for myself
but for my body. It was so direct
and simple, so rational in its desires,
The sky a shock, the ginkgoes yellow fever,
I wear the day out walking. November, and still
light stuns the big bay windows on West End
Worse than the boils and sores
and the stench and the terrible flies
was the nattering: Think.
No one left to call me Penelope,
mourned the old countess, on being informed of the death
of her last childhood friend. Did she sit long
It's what you don't hear
that says struggle
as in wrath and wrack
The nurse coming off her shift at the psychiatric ward
nodding over the Post, her surprisingly delicate legs
shining darkly through the white hospital stockings,