by Joseph Auslander

Joseph Auslander

Must it be always so whenever rain
Rattles a little on the window sill
That I shall hear at ledge and window pane
The poplar tapping her golden nails—until
The ghosts creep back again?

Is there no peace for you, ghost after ghost?
I ripped you bleeding forth and watched you go
Staring at me sideways with the most
Haggard look. . . . Is there no quiet, no
Sleep, you prowling host?

Why do you breathe like thugs who spring a lock,
Forcing the window of a dream? What wealth
Stuffs this autumnal heart that you should knock
So furtively? Why stand upon your stealth?
Gag the whirring clock?

Enter me decently as you would the door
Not of a harlot but a friend and break
My lonely crust with me: I have no more,
Nothing that the paltriest thief would take.
My key lies on the floor.

When you have done with me, go as you came,
Erect and unabashed; and tell my dear
Indelible lady that I am the same,
And that she has no longer need to fear
The poor noise of my name.

Last updated May 19, 2019