Poetry at Sangam



WHY I LEFT VIENNA by Richard Deming

Say it straight:

            When memory
is a kind of house— the body bends and

the shape of the shoulder blade spells irretrievable.

                                                            What distances are
mine, at last, when I inherit a shaded
                        life, but a poor
way of speaking?

The key in the door turns clockwise.
Water ripples in a pitcher on the table.

And who will say they knew of me
            in the tangled gestures of July’s
                                    necessary light?

My friend opens a bottle that smells
of elderberries and indecision, then
rests his glass on Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors.

And what has ever been as suddenly naked
            as a painter’s wife stepping from the bath?
                        There’s a word for this.
The light through the window hurts my eyes.