Archive for July 21st, 2022

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Sorrow to Sorrow by Andrew Grossbardt

for Quinton Duval

To be my friend
you must convince me you hide
no long knife in your handshake,
no gloom tugging at the corners
of your smile.

I have something to tell only you.
I know all the letters,
each burning vowel
on my lips like a hot coal
and when I say them together
they contain your life.
When I speak of your life
the words roll from my tongue,
oil on water.
Do not repeat this.
It will stick in your throat
like a bone.

Oh my friend, where there were fish,
ashes. Where there was water,
a seepage of blood under the left eye.

Yes, I am building you bridges
from sorrow to sorrow,
leaving behind whatever I think
can stay out there in its own cold.
Because this is the one truth.
In small towns everywhere
starlings are exploding.
Tiny feathers choke us
and when we laugh it hurts
suddenly, for no reason.
You will dream or tremble
when you watch my amazing hands
swift as wings.

From: Grossbardt, Andrew, “Sorrow to Sorrow” in Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, No. 1, Fall 1977, pp. 15-16.

Date: 1977

By: Andrew Grossbardt (19??- )