Today's poem is by Theodore Worozbyt


Just now where the scar nearly touches your hair a red siren
Singes past my street. But the phone can't ring, there isn't one.
A scar arcs beneath a scar, a finger of cloud to a temple. Memory's emergence.

Your hairline in the picture makes a pattern that I remember
Just as we are remembered in ourselves, when the jet experiences a sudden turbulence,
For what we are, unremitted collections of insistences, peonies and soft eggs, watery afternoons.

And certainly no less sign would do, would have done, for Minos than that the most beautiful
Bull of all would rise whitely from the sea? That another might
Bleed just as well, just as madly?

No, the lesson on the radio means songs are identifiable.
That the table has always been prepared expressly for each one of us individually.
And whether you eat or not, those cornichons beside the mound

Of tartare were arranged in no one else's commemoration, in your absence.
Pickles from another country, tiny and obviously ridiculous decorations
Around a pile of chopped red flesh,

And in our wishes no more crisp than the rain that ends a pleasurable day
Of errands run largely in the names of others, and lets the night
Come on, with those flavors and that tenderness which night in a deservedly famous city might imply,

Are simply in the end analysis little pickles, slightly more sophisticated perhaps,
Not quite as good as the little pickles you can buy at home, but what one thinks is
Why not share an umbrella and thank the garde-manger?

In the way swans came to the window to be recognized with their ideas of forgiveness
As a form of recognition;
In the way the city we left, or meant but neglected to arrive in

Becomes the City of Leaving and Forgetting, the one that gets the most
Attention in the monographic memoirs left sadly-no, merely unwritten,
I recall what happened to my fingertips when they scraped the bottom of the swimming pool

And I lifted the liquid strands.
During our two lives we have imagined a thing that isn't anything.
The people we speak to and convince, disappear.

All this time I have been trying to repeat myself. But then
Shush, shush, like moccasins, says the wind.

Copyright © 2008 Theodore Worozbyt All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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