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Bonsoir Tristesse

For Roberta Phillips


Music for a while

Shall all your cares beguile.

—Purcell


I never wrote a poem or baked a loaf of bread

but felt it could be better done, despite what others said.

I know that it’s been raining because the cat is damp

and that it’s grown crepuscular and time to light the lamp.


I could tell that you’d been weeping because your cheeks were wet.

I guess I had been mean to you

—or mean as I could get,

which isn’t all that mean, you know, by standards martyrs set.

What does it truly matter if we weren't that great in bed?

What does it really matter now how long that you've been dead!

Your harpsichord has long been sold, and all your dreams are fled.




June 7, 2024

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