Me Sitting at Home Having Suffered Next to Nothing

by Beatriz Santos

contains strong language


For me you bring two darknesses
One an eclipse of language
And the other an eclipse of horror
And it’s sad, even insipid, to hope
My semi-distracted, beguiled imagination
Could have taken in one erroneous smile
Before it slipped into your poems.


I let the two darknesses enter swollen
Like little black barnacle moons
Or fucked-up heads they lie on the sofa
And the afternoon becomes an exercise
In the exhumation of grisly Soviet terror
Which I find fascinating and faceless

All at once. But such spherical beauties
Only you, Anna, could have drawn them.


Quietly, the afternoon drizzles
And a pigeon shivers on a branch outside.

What is it like to remember
For all those other people?
Tell me how you spoke despite being
Hounded by dreams of the dead
Crawling quietly back into bed after
Years spent carefully de-composing.

I won’t even tell you how quickly
Nowadays we forget one another.

Maybe you disapprove of emblems
But your voice is a deer
In the night, small and silver
And leaping
It pricks
Like a needle