THREE POEMS BY RAYMOND CARVER
These fish have no eyes
these silver fish that come to me in my dreams,
scattering their roe and milt
in the pockets of my brain.
But there’s one that comes –
heavy, scarred, silent like the rest,
that simply holds against the current,
closing its dark mouth against
the current, closing and opening
as it holds to the current.
All I know about medicine I picked up
from my doctor friend in El Paso
who drank and took drugs. We were buddies
until I moved East. I’m saying
I was never sick a day in my life.
But something has appeared
on my shoulder and continues to grow.
A wen, I think, and love the word
but not the thing itself, whatever
it is. Late at night my teeth ache
and the phone rings. I’m ill,
unhappy and alone. Lord!
Give me your unsteady knife,
doc. Give me your hand, friend.
The Sunbather, to Herself
A kind of
head is a puddle,
heart & fingers –
all extremities —
under your indifferent
Now old sun,
pour into me,
against that other,
* all poems from All of Us: The Collected Poems, Alfred A. Knopf, 1998.