"Sandwich Notch Road, Two Days Before Christmas"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
May 17 2011 6:53 AM

"Sandwich Notch Road, Two Days Before Christmas"

Six Months

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear John W. Evans read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

.

On dirt roads
with good friends
the names come back all at once.

No one I know
who lives without deep sorrow.
No one ever
really finished with desire. 

The soft animal of my body
does not love
what it has learned. 

How could it? 

I wind constantly
the fragile timepiece of another life.

No set hour.  No luck.  No path
that doesn't eventually
double back. 

Wanting to live
after your death
is like waking
in an empty room:
too much space. 

All day I sleep off
the crude hangover. 

.

John W. Evans is the Jones lecturer in poetry at Stanford University, where he was previously a Wallace Stegner fellow. 

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