Wait

W
Chop, hack, slash; chop, hack, slash; cleaver, boning knife, ax—
not even the clumsiest clod of a butcher could do this so crudely,
time, as do you, dismember me, render me, leave me slop in a pail,
one part of my body a hundred years old, one not even there anymore,
another still riven with idiot vigor, voracious as the youth I was
for whom everything always was going too slowly, too slowly.

It was me then who chopped, slashed, through you, across you,
relished you, gorged on you, slugged your invisible liquor down raw.
Now you're polluted; pulse, clock, calendar taint you, befoul you,
you suck at me, pull at me, barbed wire knots of memory tear me,
my heart hangs, inert, a tag-end of tissue, firing, misfiring,
trying to heave itself back to its other way with you.

But was there ever really any other way with you? When I ran
as though for my life, wasn't I fleeing from you, or for you?
Wasn't I frightened you'd fray, leave me nothing but shreds?
Aren't I still? When I snatch at one of your moments, and clutch it,
a pebble, a planet, isn't it wearing away in my hand as though I,
not you, were the ocean of acid, the corrosive in I which dissolve?

Wait, though, wait: I should tell you too how happy I am,
how I love it so much, all of it, chopping and slashing and all.
Please know I love especially you, how every morning you turn over
the languorous earth, for how would she know otherwise to do dawn,
to do dusk, when all she hears from her speech-creatures is "Wait!"?
We whose anguished wish is that our last word not be "Wait."
42
Rating:

Comment form:

*Max text - 500. Manual moderation.

Similar Poems:

from Aurora Leigh, Second Book by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

'There it is!–
You play beside a death-bed like a child,
Yet measure to yourself a prophet's place
To teach the living. None of all these things,
Can women understand. You generalise,
Oh, nothing!–not even grief! Your quick-breathed hearts,
So sympathetic to the personal pang,
Read Poem
0
57
Rating:

And Now She Has Disappeared in Water by Diane Wakoski
Diane Wakoski
For Marilyn who died in January april 1
Read Poem
0
68
Rating:

Madeleine in Church by Charlotte Mew
Charlotte Mew
Here, in the darkness, where this plaster saint
Stands nearer than God stands to our distress,
And one small candle shines, but not so faint
As the far lights of everlastingness,
I’d rather kneel than over there, in open day
Where Christ is hanging, rather pray
To something more like my own clay,
Not too divine;
Read Poem
0
75
Rating:

The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step,
She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage
To meet him in the doorway with the news
And put him on his guard. ‘Silas is back.’
She pushed him outward with her through the door
And shut it after her. ‘Be kind,’ she said.
She took the market things from Warren’s arms
And set them on the porch, then drew him down
To sit beside her on the wooden steps.

‘When was I ever anything but kind to him?
But I’ll not have the fellow back,’ he said.
‘I told him so last haying, didn’t I?
If he left then, I said, that ended it.
Read Poem
0
87
Rating:

The Circus by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
I remember when I wrote The Circus
I was living in Paris, or rather we were living in Paris
Janice, Frank was alive, the Whitney Museum
Was still on 8th Street, or was it still something else?
Fernand Léger lived in our building
Well it wasn’t really our building it was the building we lived in
Next to a Grand Guignol troupe who made a lot of noise
So that one day I yelled through a hole in the wall
Read Poem
0
62
Rating:

Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
But do not let us quarrel any more,
No, my Lucrezia; bear with me for once:
Sit down and all shall happen as you wish.
You turn your face, but does it bring your heart?
I'll work then for your friend's friend, never fear,
Treat his own subject after his own way,
Fix his own time, accept too his own price,
And shut the money into this small hand
When next it takes mine. Will it? tenderly?
Oh, I'll content him,—but to-morrow, Love!
I often am much wearier than you think,
This evening more than usual, and it seems
As if—forgive now—should you let me sit
Here by the window with your hand in mine
And look a half-hour forth on Fiesole,
Read Poem
0
104
Rating:

Portrait of a Lady by T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
Thou hast committed—
Fornication: but that was in another country,
And besides, the wench is dead.
The Jew of Malta I
Read Poem
0
44
Rating:

The Triumph of Time by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Before our lives divide for ever,
While time is with us and hands are free,
(Time, swift to fasten and swift to sever
Hand from hand, as we stand by the sea)
I will say no word that a man might say
Whose whole life's love goes down in a day;
For this could never have been; and never,
Though the gods and the years relent, shall be.

Is it worth a tear, is it worth an hour,
To think of things that are well outworn?
Of fruitless husk and fugitive flower,
The dream foregone and the deed forborne?
Though joy be done with and grief be vain,
Time shall not sever us wholly in twain;
Read Poem
0
112
Rating:

Wildflowers by Richard Howard
Richard Howard
for Joseph Cady

Camden, 1882 Is it raining, Mary, can you see?
Read Poem
0
93
Rating: