Melancholy Poem Set in 1951, Pittsburgh-with Formal Elements

Melancholy Poem Set in 1951, Pittsburgh-with Formal Elements

Lummis, Suzanne

The city’s weighted with grayish heads

on sheets emitting a measly light.

All lovers lose their lovers

here in the middle of the night.

He slips through the fire exit,

takes the easy route.

Or he’ll toss a cigarette that shrinks

down, down, then out

then rise like smoke from bed.

He’ll feel vaguely sorry.

Or she goes out how she came in,

leaves a lip print hard as lead

on a glass of Gilbey’s Gin

smudge of factory red.

They let the sleeping lie

where they went down, but not in glory.

They leave a thin scent in the air

of who they were, what happened here.

No doubt it tells a kind of story,

but they let bygones go by.

They don’t let the thing get old,

here, where the unloved wake up alone,

their hearts loud in the tin cup cold,

and these traces hiss memento mon.

Copyright Hudson Review Winter 2005

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