Mummy's Curse

by Charles Simic

Charles Simic

Befriending an eccentric young woman
The sole resident of a secluded Victorian mansion.
She takes long walks in the evening rain,
And so do I, with my hair full of dead leaves.

In her former life, she was an opera singer.
She remembers the rich Neapolitan pastries,
Points to a bit of fresh whipped cream
Still left in the corner of her lower lip,
Tells me she dragged a wooden cross once
Through a leper town somewhere in India.

I was born in Copenhagen, I confide in turn.
My father was a successful mortician.
My mother never lifted her nose out of a book.
Arthur Schopenhauer ruined our happy home.
Since then, a day doesn't go by without me
Sticking a loaded revolved inside my mouth.

She had walked ahead of me and had turned
Like a lion tamer, towering with a whip in hand.
Luckily, in that moment, the mummy sped by
On a bicycle carrying someone's pizza order
And cursing the mist and the potholes.

Last updated May 02, 2015