Poetry | June 01, 2010

Featuring the poems:

  • Interiority
  • Longing Is Not Desire
  • I’ve Turned from the Distant
  • In the Year of Gorillas
  • Balloon
  • To Whoever May Care for Me Dying (featured as Poem of the Week, Oct. 19, 2010)


To Whoever May Care for Me Dying

Do what you must.

Swab the raw places

as delicately as you can,

but go on and swab them.

If I wince, I would be clean.

Such work befits those

who can see so little left

between skull and skin

and not think them.

You needn’t imagine

if I say I lived once

on the sea, in the wind

and sun. You’re not yet born,

I hope, so what’s this world?

If there’s nothing for the pain

there’s nothing. Thank you

anyway for the morphine

dripped from the eyedropper

onto my tongue like communion,

for the pink, wet sponge

small on its plastic stick

and dabbed on my lips,

if that’s where we’re at.

Thank you for the clean cotton,

for the comb and buttons

for as long as that was possible.

Step outside when you can

to look at light on things.

From this far I don’t know

what else may be required

but if there’s a rose

somewhere in the room

won’t you bring it to me?

Press its deep, open folds

right up to my nose.

And whatever song you might sing,

please, sing to me.

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