Poetry June 2011

Orts

Tough to say from this tableful of scraps
what couples feasted here—gnawed olive stones
among the burnt ends of cold meat, the laps
of cantaloupes splayed open, spindly bones
of game birds, unloaved crusts, a waxy rind.
Did late-harvest wine unloose their wild talk?
Whose restless eyes, at once far-off and kind,
looked skyward on an after-dinner walk?
The clues are hard to tease out: were they fair
or compromised, temperate or gluttonous;
did some not give a fig and others care?
Both, perhaps, and in both just like us,
who, swept up in the whirl of tonight’s laughter,
pay no special mind to what comes after.

Presented by

David Yezzi’s most recent collection is Azores (2008). He lives in New York.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.
More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In