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Some Clouds

Now that I've unplugged the phone,
no one can reach me-
At least for this one afternoon
they will have to get by without my advice
or opinion.
Now nobody else is going to call
& ask in a tentative voice
if I haven't yet heard that she's dead,
that woman I once loved-
nothing but ashes scattered over a city
that barely itself any longer exists.
Yes, thank you, I've heard.
It had been too lovely a morning.
That in itself should have warned me.
The sun lit up the tangerines
& the blazing poinsettias
like so many candles.
For one afternoon they will have to forgive me.
I am busy watching things happen again
that happened a long time ago.
as I lean back in Josephine's lawnchair
under a sky of incredible blue,
broken - if that is the word for it - 
by a few billowing clouds,
all white & unspeakably lovely,
drifting out of one nothingness into another.

—Steve Kowit

from Mysteries of the Body, 1994
Uroboros Books

Copyright 1991 by Steve Kowit.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Uroboros Books from Mysteries of the Body. Copyright 1991 by Steve Kowit. For further permissions information, contact Steve Kowit, P.O. Box 184, Potrero, CA 91963, phone/fax 619-478-2129, [email protected].

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Steve Kowit (1938-2015) was a poet, essayist, teacher, and workshop facilitator. Kowit was born in Brooklyn in 1938. Kowit is the author of thirteen poetry collections, including Cherish: New and Selected Poems (University of Tampa Press, 2015).

Learn more about Steve Kowit.