A man began to eat his order of fish, and the ghost of the fish arose and spoke. Forgive me, it said, please hear me. I died in despair,
In each photograph I see
what captured me
when I first looked at you
Look, he said,
I've been writing stuff for the past four years
& I've done about six hundred poems
& all I can manage is get them in the local
The beautiful girl on the bus
wears a jacket that comes from a sheep
that was raised on a farm
When it came through the door
I knew what it was.
'I'll have that,' it said,
When I was twelve the undertaker came up
from the corner: 'Something special, come and see.'
The corpse was Italian,
You too can have flaking skin,
lank hair and
trembling hands and
With no pretentiousness they bear us.
It is no concern of theirs what we propose to do,
or do. They stand us,
mimic earth's pull, hold us to it.
Cavafy began to describe it,
and gave it away halfway through.
Boredom grows intimate; something like aging,
or torture you learn how to do by yourself,
Wet stuff that hangs around funerals,
falls on confetti,
makes face-masks go crooked,
reveals children's fears: tears