Tuesday, December 21, 2010

poem for Jim Carroll on the winter solstice

"she plumbs to the purple earth
light rising into her features"

—Jim Carroll

it is the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s—

the boy falls in love with the woman he finds

on the sidewalk, naked and dying after falling

from a fifth floor window—only dusk rises there—

he crouches into her last dark breath,

this day’s faint gleaming returns to him

for years—it is the midnight of the year—

and the day’s deep solstice

(to be gone in an instant)

because she was not a junkie whore,

her face still beautiful,

her mouth saying “I let them—”

he holds her unbroken hand until he sees

her eyes at the instant of change—

(in an instant as if she were

an ordinary nothing)

and long after she is gone he is kneeling there

in the midnight of the year and the day’s deep

heroin dream beside her and rising as if—

as if he could lift her with his faltering high—

but he is crushed by her smooth unbreathing skin,

he is someone else now as he covers her

with his jacket—

(in an instant she is gone, but it is as if he

were an ordinary nothing, now—)

it is the year’s deep midnight, and the day’s


fill the stadium with snow—


See the poem "Living at the Movies" by jim Carroll and John Donne's "A NOCTURNAL UPON ST. LUCY'S DAY,BEING THE SHORTEST DAY."

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