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.