Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Happiness Writes White

So what good is it? Let's be sad,
wear melancholy like an old brown sweater
patched at the elbows and smelling of our own funk.
The coffee cups pile up on the little table,
pages turn, electric lights come on --
it would be good to have a dog, you think,
one with grave eyes and an understanding of life,
it would be good

to go down to the docks and watch the freighters
idly listing in the oily water,
to smoke cigarettes and look out at the sea
and then walk home in the gathering evening,
at a measured pace, still hearing the voice of the sea
that speaks to you like a friend, of serious things
so simply and quietly
you barely notice the sky blanch after rain
or the woman coming out of the subway
carrying an immense bouquet of white lilac
wrapped in white tissue paper, like a torch.

- Katha Pollitt

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