Charles Simic

(1938 / Belgrade)

The Empress - Poem by Charles Simic

My beloved, you who spend your nights
Torturing me
By holding up one mirror after another
To me in the dark,
If there's anything I know to say or do today,
I merit no praise for it,
But owe it to the subtlety of your torments,
And your perseverance in keeping me awake.

All the same, who gave you the right
To judge me in my wretchedness?
What soul white as snow
Compiled this endless list of misdeeds
You read to me every night?
The airs you put on when I tell you to stop
Would make one believe
You were once a bedmate of a Chinese emperor.

I like it best when we do not say a word.
When we lie side by side
Like two lovers after their passion is spent.
Once again, day is breaking.
A small bird in the trees is pouring her heart out
At the miracle of the coming light.
It hurts.
The beauty of a night spent sleepless.


Comments about The Empress by Charles Simic

There is no comment submitted by members..



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Saturday, June 24, 2017



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. Television
    Roald Dahl
  10. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
[Report Error]