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Some Clouds

Now that I've unplugged the phone,
no one can reach me-
At least for this one afternoon
they will have to get by without my advice
or opinion.
Now nobody else is going to call
& ask in a tentative voice
if I haven't yet heard that she's dead,
that woman I once loved-
nothing but ashes scattered over a city
that barely itself any longer exists.
Yes, thank you, I've heard.
It had been too lovely a morning.
That in itself should have warned me.
The sun lit up the tangerines
& the blazing poinsettias
like so many candles.
For one afternoon they will have to forgive me.
I am busy watching things happen again
that happened a long time ago.
as I lean back in Josephine's lawnchair
under a sky of incredible blue,
broken - if that is the word for it - 
by a few billowing clouds,
all white & unspeakably lovely,
drifting out of one nothingness into another.

—Steve Kowit

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Steve Kowit (1938-2015) was a poet, essayist, teacher, and workshop facilitator. Kowit was born in Brooklyn in 1938. Kowit is the author of thirteen poetry collections, including Cherish: New and Selected Poems (University of Tampa Press, 2015).

Learn more about Steve Kowit.