Charles Simic

(1938 / Belgrade)

The Writings of the Mystics - Poem by Charles Simic

On the counter among many
Much-used books,
The rare one you must own
Immediately, the one
That makes your heart race

As you wait for small change
With a silly grin
You'll take to the street,
And later, past the landlady
Watching you wipe your shoes,

Then, up to the rented room
Which neighbors the one
Of a nightclub waitress
Who's shaving her legs
With a door partly open,

While you turn to the first page
Which speaks of a presentiment
Of a higher existence
In things familiar and drab …

In a house soon to be torn down,
Suddenly hushed, and otherworldly …
You have to whisper your own name,
And the words of the hermit,
Since it must be long past dinner,

Since it must be long past dinner,
The one they ate quickly,
Happy that your small portion
Went to the three-legged dog.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, June 24, 2017

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