the bruise will stop by later.
For now, the pain pauses in its round,
notes the time of day, the patient’s temperature,
leaves a memo for the surrogate: What the hell
did you think you were doing? I mean . . .
Oh well, less said the better, they all say.
I’ll post this at the desk.
God will find the pattern and break it.
“Anticipated Stranger” from A Worldly Country by John Ashbery. Copyright © 2007 by John Ashbery. Reprinted by permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc., on behalf of the author. All rights reserved.
Source: A Worldly Country (Ecco Press, 2007)