everything feels afterwards,
stoic and inevitable,
my eyes ringed with the grease of rumor and complicity,
my hands eager to hold any agreeable infatuation
that might otherwise slip away.
it's evening and the lights up and
down the street appear hopeful,
swollen as they are with ancient grievances
and souring schemes. The sky,
and aloof, eager to surrender
its indifference to our suffering.
Speaking of suffering,
the houses-our sober, recalcitrant houses-
are swollen with dreams that have grown opaque with age,
hoarding as they do truths
untranslatable into auspicious beliefs.
upon which so many laws are based,
continues to consume everything.
regardless of what the gods say,
the present remains uninhabitable,
the past unforgiving of the harm it's seen,
the future remains translucent
in its desire to elude us.
About this poem
"This poem came out of feeling overwhelmed by reading about the endless stream of world tragedies recently. Poetry is often the only place to take this building sense of experiencing the same hopeless dream, in which the future and the past appear to conspire to completely debilitate the present of any forward motion. It doesn't change the news but I feel a little better."
About Philip Schultz
Philip Schultz is the author of "The Wherewithal" (W.W. Norton, 2014). He is the founder and director of The Writers Studio and lives in East Hampton, N.Y.
The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.
(c) 2014 Philip Schultz. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate