Home > Poetry > Past the Cemetery
Published: Tue Jan 30 2018
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
AGNI 71 Food Relationships War
Past the Cemetery

It’s nice here on the shady side of the street.
Our small, outdoor table
Faces a building
Golden with late afternoon sunlight
Under a cloudless summer sky.

Together with daily horrors,
Life doles out these small pleasures:
A platter of raw oysters on ice,
A ripe lemon sliced in half,
And a glass of chilled white wine.

If the couple holding hands at the next table
Are now in a hurry to leave,
Let them go ahead.
We’ll linger over another bottle
And then go looking for a bed ourselves.

See what's inside AGNI 71
Cycles Like a Shapeless Child
Online 2023 Loss Relationships War
The Fat Man Spoke of Fish
AGNI 91 Food Journeys Relationships

Charles Simic (1938–2023) was a poet, essayist, translator, and editor. Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1954 and began publishing English-language poems in 1959. He received the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, was a MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, and served as poet laureate of the United States from 2007 to 2008. 

Back to top