Melancholy Poem Set in 1951, Pittsburgh-with Formal Elements
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
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved