Thomas McCarthy

Two Poems


Well, I do remember the morning
when your letter clacked onto the sunlit floor
of John Montague’s house. We had been
marveling at our first sight of a Gallimard
Pléiade edition; that loveliness
out of Paris, its 1960s velvet slip-case.

Your poem on the floor was a violation
of sorts, an unwelcome welcome reminder
that air is made of salt; and water –
that gives up everything to the world of paper –
is also a thriving element. We prised
your oyster open, mindful of the sea

in Evelyn’s eyes: Mrs Montague, so young
and beautiful in her French sunlight
(to be born beautiful is a glut of privilege) –
It was not that flowers on the window withered
as John flattened your new poem on the table,
but the redress we felt, that sting of brine.






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