In her own words...



Siesta breathes in the old plane trees,
veterans of annual amputation:
witness their knots and knobs.

Up here the house is tight.
Summer's out listening to locusts
rub their ceaseless one-note instrument.

A single leaf lolls on the blue pool.
My dog's eyes tell me I'm powerful.
The windows glitter with landscape,

walls are thick with books and pictures,
the cellar is rich, the garden is rich,
the guest is richly suntanned.

What is it then that is grieving?
My thought is poor, my words are poor,
my brain is whitening by the hour,

a see-through brain and, look —
what is that awful spot on the floor?
Why is it widening, crowding me?


About this work

“Sybaris 1972” was first published in Western Humanities Review, Vol. 57, no. 1 (Spring 2003), p. 10.  It is also included in Dorothea Tanning's book, A Table of Content: Poems, New York: Graywolf Press, 2004, p. 67, and may not be reprinted without the publisher's permission.