Claudia Wysocky | 2 Poems


I thought that if I were a better person, then maybe things would go better for me
I thought that if I were a better person, then maybe I’d be happy.
I don’t know what I want anymore
I saw that I had a test today.

What’s the point?

I saw you across the sea,
and wondered why someone was looking so sad.
I am not brave, but I felt a lump in my throat.
How to explain a broken heart? To even explain it at all?
But words…I am empty and full.
I did not know you, but I felt like I did.
I wanted to tell you, “I want you to be happy.”
But all I could do was feel.
I cannot think,
though I do.
I won’t close my eyes if I’m awake—because sleep is not a problem anymore.
The rest of the world is shapeless though—I hoped you would fill it in some way.

The Seventh Column

Once again Diderot’s beautiful ruin stands

in the corner of my mind,
the great book-city he described in Les Bijoux Indiscrets.

It stands there with its cupola and wings and spires;
the vast cranes that have been thrown up over the roofs,
the towers of every color and shape, like laments;
the wide-open windows that look out across the city’s view:
and here a rich man’s palace, there a poor man’s hovel,
and everywhere the same old poverty and misery.

The sun shines on Diderot’s ruin, but it is not enough to warm
the air. It glares on the golden spires and cupolas,
and melts the stone and marble into liquid gold.
The shadows lie across the dusty streets like a veil of fire;
the scorched pavement is strewn with broken glass,
with splinters of wood and bits of plaster; the dead leaves rustle,
and amid that universal silence one hears the distant hum
of a city in pain.

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