September Twilight

Louise Glück

 
 

I gathered you together,
I can dispense with you

I’m tired of you, chaos
of the living world
I can only extend myself
for so long to a living thing.

I summoned you into existence
by opening my mouth, by lifting
my little finger, shimmering

blues of the wild
aster, blossom
of the lily, immense,
gold-veined

you come and go; eventually
I forget your names.

You come and go, every one of you
flawed in some way,
in some way compromised: you are worth
one life, no more than that.

I gathered you together;
I can erase you
as though you were a draft to be thrown away,
an exercise

because I’ve finished you, vision
of deepest mourning.

 


From The Yale Review, January–April 1992, vol. 80.1–2.

Image: Detail from Willem Witsen, Landscape with a Farm at Dusk, ca. 1884–1887, chalk on paper. Rijksmuseum.