Powerless Structures Fig. 11 (Sanne)

by Anne Carson | March 29, 2012

HER FUNERAL
is in Sankt Johannes nine years after his.

THAT GOLDSMUGGLER
she fell in love with in Amsterdam is how he appears in her eulogy.

BLUSH NO
I never saw her blush.

OPEN BOAT
driving rain we go on a tour of the harbor she sits unprotected smoking.

I FIRST
met her on the telephone you don’t know me she said but your brother has
just died in my bathroom.

APPARENTLY THEY’D
been married 17 years.

WHAT’S THAT
sound oh the dog you have a dog yes we have a dog no I have a dog.

HER STORIES
of his stubbornness fears Xmas dinners dope dog kindness to her mad mother
and refusal to talk about the past his beard that he would shave off when he
got some money he never did.

ENGLISH IDIOMS
she usually avoids he was the light of my life is one she does use.

SHE CALLS
in tears tears fill up the phone.

THAT ONE
she said she was a bartender in Amsterdam and he walked in that one I want
to marry.

I CLEANED
him I keep hearing when he died her clipped phrases who else between drags
should do it.

TEARS FILL
up the phone I empty it.

WE WALK
by the canal swans drift down the water one leg trailing one leg tucked up
behind.

SHE GOT
in the ambulance went to the hospital and there insisted on washing the body
who else should do it she said.

THE GERUNDIVE
is a verb form expressing obligation or necessity three little steps up no steps
down.

SHE DIES
in April 2010 of alcohol and indescribable longing.

MOST PEOPLE
blush before death.

SHE JUST
steps off.

This poem appeared in the April 19, 2012 issue of the magazine.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//article/poetry/magazine/102107/powerless-structures-fig-11-sanne