A Poem by C.D. Wright

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

only the crossing counts.

It’s not how we leave one’s life. How go off
 the air. You never know, do you. You think you’re ready
 for anything; then it happens, and you’re not. You’re really
 not. The genesis of an ending, nothing
 but a feeling, a slow movement, the dusting
 of furniture with a remnant of the revenant’s shirt.
 Seeing the candles sink in their sockets; we turn
 away, yet the music never quits. The fire kisses our face.
 O phthisis, O lotharian dead eye, no longer
 will you gaze on the baize of the billiard table. No more
 shooting butter dishes out of the sky. Scattering light.
 Between snatches of poetry and penitence you left
 the brumal wood of men and women. Snow drove
 the butterflies home. You must know
 how it goes, known all along what to expect,
 sooner or later…the faded cadence of anonymity.
 Frankly my dear, frankly my dear, frankly

From Cooling Time (Copper Canyon Press, 2005). Reprinted by permission.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.