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Last Month

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No changes of support—only
Patches of gray, here where sunlight fell.
The house seems heavier
Now that they have gone away.   
In fact it emptied in record time.   
When the flat table used to result
A match recedes, slowly, into the night.
The academy of the future is   
Opening its doors and willing
The fruitless sunlight streams into domes,   
The chairs piled high with books and papers.

The sedate one is this month’s skittish one   
Confirming the property that,
A timeless value, has changed hands.
And you could have a new automobile
Ping pong set and garage, but the thief   
Stole everything like a miracle.
In his book there was a picture of treason only   
And in the garden, cries and colors.

John Ashbery, “Last Month” from Rivers and Mountains. Copyright © 1962, 1966 by John Ashbery. Reprinted with the permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc. on behalf of the author.
Source: The Mooring of Starting Out: The First Five Books of Poetry (Ecco Press, 1997)
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Last Month

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