Charles Simic


Country: United States
Language(s): English
Prison Guards Silhouetted Against the Sky

I never gave them a thought. Years had gone by,
Many years. I had plenty of other things
To mull over. This morning I was in the dentist’s chair
When his new assistant walked in
Pretending not to recognize me in the slightest
As I opened my mouth obediently.

We were smooching in the grass by the river bank,
And I wanted her to peel off her bra.
The sky was darkening, there was even thunder
When she finally did, so that the first large
Rain drop fell and wet one of her nipples.

That was nicer then what she did to my mouth now,
While I peeked, while I waited for a sign,
Perhaps a sudden dreamy look coming over her
At the memory of the two of us running soaked wet
Past the prison with its towers and armed guards
Silhouetted against the stormy sky.

On the Meadow

With the wind gusting so wildly
So unpredictably,
I’m willing to bet one or two ants
May have tumbled over on their backs
As we sit there on the porch.

Their feet are pedaling
Imaginary bicycles.
It’s a battle of wits against
Various physical laws,
Plus Fate, plus —
So-what-else-is-new?

Wondering if anyone’s coming to their aid
Bringing cake crumbs,
Miniature editions of the Bible,
A lost thread of two
Tied end to end?

Zaza at Midnight

I arrange meetings in dreams.
You’ll find yourself tonight
In a strange, fog-bound city
Taking small, apprehensive steps.

Who do you want waiting for you
In the next dark doorway?
Your old high school  sweetheart?
The wives of your dear friends?

No. You’d like to meet sublimity
Itself. Queen Perfection.
Miss Immaculate
Who’ll let you feel her purse,

Nail clippings with occult powers,
A red flaming wig on top of my head,
Let’s see what I can do for you
With my helpers and confidants?

The fog’s thickening around you,
Handsome. Stick your hands in pockets,
Whistle something carefree.
Go, but do not touch ground.