Poetry

“From: ‘Our Conversation'” by Franz Wright.

I wish you
all the aloneness you hunger for.
That big kitchen table where you sit laughing
with friends, I see it happening.
And I wish that I could not be
so much with you
when I’m suddenly not; that
inwardly you might switch
time, to sleep
and winter while you went about
your life, until you woke up
well,
our conversation resumed.
Ceaseless blue lightning, this
love passing through me:
I know somehow it will go on
reaching you, reaching you
instantly
when I’m not in the way;
when it is no longer deflected
by all the dark bents, all
I tried to overcome but I could not—
so much light pulled off course
as it passed within reach, so much
lost, lost in me,
but no more.

Poetry

“Morning Arrives” by Franz Wright.

Morning arrives
unannounced
by limousine: the tall
emaciated chairman

of sleeplessness in person
steps out on the sidewalk
and donning black glasses, ascends
the stairs to your building

guided by a German shepherd.
After a couple faint knocks
at the door, he slowly opens
the book of blank pages

pointing out
with a pale manicured finger
particular clauses,
proof of your guilt.

Poetry

“The Only Animal” by Franz Wright.

The only animal that commits suicide
went for a walk in the park,
basked on a hard bench
in the first star,
traveled to the edge of space
in an armchair
while company quietly
talked and abruptly
returned,
the room empty.

The only animal that cries
that takes off its clothes
and reports to the mirror, the one
and only animal
that brushes its own teeth —

Somewhere

the only animal that smokes a cigarette,
that lies down and flies backward in time,
that rises and walks to a book
and looks up a word
heard the telephone ringing
in the darkness downstairs and decided
to answer no more.

And I understand,
too well: how many times
have I made the decision to dwell
from now on
in the hour of my death
(the space I took up here
scarlessly closing like water)
and said I’m never coming back
and yet

this morning
I stood once again
in this world, the garden
ark and vacant
tomb of what
I can’t imagine,
between twin eternities
more or less equidistantly
exiled from both,
hovering in the dreaming called
being awake, where
You gave me
in secret one thing
to perceive, the
tall blue starry

strangeness of being
here at all.
You gave us each in secret something to
perceive.
Furless now, upright, My banished
and experimental
child

You said, though your own heart condemn you
I do not condemn you.