English poetry

Poems in English

Postcards

Postcards

I’m thinking about you. What else can I say?
The palm trees on the reverse
Are a delusion; so is the pink sand.
What we have are the usual
Fractured coke bottles and the smell
Of backed-up drains, too sweet,
Like a mango on the verge
Of rot, which we have also.
The air clear sweat, mosquitoes
& their tracks; birds & elusive.

Time comes in waves here, a sickness, one
Day after the other rolling on;
I move up, it’s called
Awake, then down into the uneasy
Nights but never
Forward. The roosters crow
For hours before dawn, and a prodded
Child howls & howls
On the pocked road to school.
In the hold with the baggage
There are two prisoners,
Their heads shaved by bayonets, & ten crates
Of queasy chicks. Each spring
There’s race of cripples, from the store
To the church. This is the sort of junk
I carry with me; and a clipping
About democracy from the local paper.

Outside the window
They’re building the damn hotel,
Nail by nail, someone’s
Crumbling dream. A universe that includes you
Can’t be all bad, but
Does it? At this distance
You’re a mirage, a glossy image
Fixed in the posture
Of the last time I saw you.
Turn you over, there’s the place
For the address. Wish you were
Here. Love comes
In waves like the ocean, a sickness which goes on
& on, a hollow cave
In the head, filling & pounding, a kicked ear.



Poem Postcards - Margaret Atwood