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Wednesday, September 23, 2015


by Richard O'Connell

After the Portuguese of Domingos Carvalho Da Silva

Because the moon is bright and the night
Is simply announcing the dawn
And because the sea is hardly the sea
And the hose doesn't weep on the lawn

And because we've fouled the water and air
In this best of all possible hells
And because the light is simply a vibration
That excites our nervous cells

And because rock music hurts our ears
And the wind plays an aeolian harp
And because the earth breeds plenty of snakes
And goldfish are only carp

And because the plane is about to depart
And the raven repeats nevermore
And because we have to sit here and smile
Before the final big encore

And because yesterday does not exist
And the future will never come
And because we are doing a ballet
On the pin of the Hydrogen Bomb

Let's not rush to the wall and weep
And tear our hair and bewail our fate
We did as well as anyone could
Given our love and hate

And because we are pathetic clowns
Confronting the Apocalypse
Caught in the ruins of a collapsing world
Between earthquake and eclipse

Let's dance high on the hurricane deck
Before the ship slopes under our feet
Let's soak up the wealth of the sun
Before it loses its light and heat

Let's laugh at the whole wide universe
In our eyes reflected
When we close our lids it will be
As if it never existed

Let our laughter crackle across the cosmos
Where galaxies scatter and dim
Since win or lose we only leave
A trace of ash on the wind

Richard O’Connell lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Collections of his poetry include RetroWorlds, Simulations, Voyages, and The Bright Tower, all published by the University of Salzburg Press (now Poetry Salzburg). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, National Review, The Texas Review, Acumen, The Paris Review, Trinacria, The Formalist, Light, etc. His most recent collections are Dawn Crossing and Waiting for the Terrorists.