In Which We Speak

poetry 0
Alex Andriesse

 

You will not remember my face,

said the Angel,

in the imperium of woe,

but there are some compensations

to be had by the eye:

 

the cities in shadow,

the fields in light,

clouds like great ships massed

in the blue.

 

Oh, forgetfulness,

you only seem the enemy

from this side of the river

 

while I still pulse with veins,

grow cancerous,

remember my youth.

 

In the boat I will watch

the robust boatman steer

the miserable crowd of us

toward the further shore;

 

by the time we arrive,

I will have vomited

the contents of my former mind

and forgot forgetting.

 

Oh, Angel, I thank you

for letting the light seem

something other

than a rank intrusion

on the dark.

 

 

Alex Andriesse is a writer, a translator, and an associate editor at Dalkey Archive Press. His writing has appeared in ProdigalReading in Translation, and the Battersea Review. His translation of Chateaubriand's Memoirs from Beyond the Grave, 1768–1800 is published by New York Review of Books. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.