Holy City of Byzantium

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This Morning

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by Charles Simic (b. 1938)

Enter without knocking, hard-working ant.
I’m just sitting here mulling over
What to do this cold, rainy day?
It was a night of the radio turned down low,
Fitful sleep, vague, troubling dreams.
I woke up lovesick and confused.
I thought I heard Estella in the garden singing
and some bird answering her,
But it was the rain. Dark tree tops swaying
And whispering. “Come to me, my desire,”
I said. And she hurried to me,
Her breath smelling of mint, her tongue
Wetting my cheek, and then she vanished.
Slowly day came, a gray streak of daylight
To bathe my hands and face in.
Hours passed, and then you crawled suddenly
Under the door, and stopped before me.
You visit the same tailors the mourners do,
Mr. Ant. I like the long silence between us.
Quiet, that holy state even the rain
Knows about. Listen to her begin to fall,
As if with eyes closed,
Muting each drop in her wild-beating heart.

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