A weekly poem.
A weekly poem.
A weekly poem, read by the author.
Nov. 13 2007 7:48 AM


Listen  to Frank Bidart read this poem.

on each desk mantel refrigerator door

an array of photographs
little temple of affections

you have ironically but patiently made


Those promises that make us confront
our ambition, pathetic ambition:

confront it best when we see what it
promised die. Your dead ex-wife

you put back on the mantel
when your next wife left. With her iron

nasals, Piaf regrets NOTHING: crazed
by the past, the sweet desire to return to

zero. Undisenthralled you
regret what could not have been

otherwise and remain itself.
There, the hotel in whose bar you courted

both your wives is detonated, collapsing;
in its ballroom, you conceded the election.

There's your open mouth

A good photograph tells you everything
that's really going on is invisible.

You are embarrassed by so many
dead flowers. They lie shriveled before you.

Frank Bidart's most recent book of poems is Star Dust.

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