The 5:32 by Phyllis McGinley

Phyllis_McGinley

image found at en.wikipedia.org

 

The 5:32

She said, If tomorrow my world were torn in two,

Blacked out, dissolved, I think I would remember

(As if transfixed in unsurrendering amber)

This hour best of all the hours I knew:

Children scuffing the seats, and the women driving

With ribbons around their hair, and the trains arriving,

And the men getting off with tired but practiced motion.

 

Yes, I would remember my life like this, she said:

Autumn, the platform red with Virginia creeper,

And a man coming toward me, smiling, the evening paper

Under his arm, and his hat pushed back on his head;

And the wood smoke lying like haze on the quiet town,

And dinner waiting, and the sun not yet gone down.

(1932)

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Letters Of The Unliving by Mina Loy

 

Mina Loy by Man Ray.  Image found at  http://www.wikiart.org

 

Letters Of The Unliving

 

The present implies presence
thus
unauthorized by the present
these letters are left authorless —
have lost all origin
since the inscribing hand
lost life.

The harshness of the past
croaks,
from creased leaves
covered with unwritten writing
since death’s erasure
of the writer —
erased the lover

Well-chosen and so ill-relinquished
the husband heartsease —
acme of communion —

made euphonious
our esoteric universe.

Ego’s oasis now’s
the sole companion.

My body and my reason
you left to the drought of your dying:
the longing and the lack
of a racked creature
shouting
to an unanswering hiatus
‘reunite us!’

till slyly
patience creeps up on passion
and the elation of youth
dwindles out of season.

Agony
ends in an equal grave
with ecstasy.

An uneasy mist
rises from this calligraphy of recollection
documenting a terror of dementia.

This package of ago
creaks with the horror of echo.

The bloom of love
decoyed
to decay by the finger
of Hazard the swindler —
deathly handler who leaves
no post-mortem mask
but a callous earth.

Posing the extreme enigma
in my Bewilderness
can your face excelling Adonis
have ceased to be
or ever have had existence?

With you no longer the addresser
there is no addressee
to dally with defunct reality.

Can one who still has being
be inexistent?

I am become
dumb
in answer
to your dead language of amor.

Diminuendo
of life’s imposture
implies no possible retrial
by my present self —
my cloud-corpse
beshadowing your shroud.

The one I was with you:
inhumed in chasms.
No creator
reconstrues scar-tissue
to shine as birth-star.

But to my sub-cerebral surprise
at last on blase sorrow
dawns an iota of disgust
for life’s intemperance:

‘As once you were’

Withhold your ghostly reference
to the sweet once were we.

Leave me
my final illiteracy
of memory’s languor —

my preference
to drift in lenient coma
an older Ophelia
on Lethe.